Bookshelf

Bookshelf provides descriptions and notices of recent publications on Pennsylvania subjects.

Protecting Historic Properties: A Guide to Research and Preservation
by Brandywine Conservancy staff
Brandywine Conservancy, 1984 (151 pages, paper, $15.00)

Showcasing examples from Pennsylvania’s historic and beautiful Delaware Valley, the Brandywine Conservancy’s detailed and informative guide to research and preservation is a step-by-step analysis of the preservation process. The book is geared to those inter­ested in historic preservation and will ably serve as a manual for enthusiastic citizens and volunteers, preservation specialists, planners, educa­tors, developers and local public officials. Rather than merely a discussion of success­ful preservation efforts, this “how to” publication includes an extremely competent expla­nation of varied architectural styles and offers innovative ways to conduct research on historic buildings and struc­tures using primary and sec­ondary sources. The authors have even defined the termi­nology encountered in old deeds and estate papers! An entire chapter is devoted to the National Register of Historic Places, beginning with its background and evolution and discussing benefits and protec­tion offered by the official record of properties in the United States deemed worthy of preservation. Readers are acquainted with the National Register as an effective plan­ning tool in catalyzing local preservation efforts, as well as the various types of categories for nominations, including those specifically for historic districts, thematic and mul­tiple resource areas. Other chapters explain the value of surveys, planning, local regu­lation, preservation easements and funding sources. Protecting Historic Properties also gives the reader easy to understand summaries of the much-touted tax incentives for rehabilitating historic structures.

 

Amish Culture and Economy
by Gerald S. Lestz
Science Press, 1984 (112 pages, cloth, $35.00)

The author, a well-known writer and editor in Lancaster, introduces this lavishly color­-illustrated work with a basic premise: “Any person who writes about the Amish has a dual responsibility – to the Amish, and to those who read what is written.” True to this preface, the author goes far beyond simply reciting time­worn stories of the unusual customs and practices of central Pennsylvania’s Amish. Instead, his book provides a solid chronological history of the sect, from the settlers’ arrival in Pennsylvania at the opening of the eighteenth cen­tury to the present. The his­tory of the Amish is punctu­ated by drawings and photographs, all of which help portray their lifestyles and beliefs through nearly three centuries. Amish Culture and Economy also addresses the impact of progress – especially that fomented by the rampant tourism industry – on present-day families and their way of life. The evolution of Amish economy, beginning with farming but extending to car­riage shops, machine works, bookstores, cheese shops and watch and clock repairing, is also discussed, with the author noting that small non­agricultural enterprises are growing steadily in Lancaster County. Major sections are devoted to Amish education, research and publications, arts and crafts. The book is com­plemented by an extensive bib­liography in addition to the striking color photographs of the Amish.

 

One of a Kind: Milton Snavely Hershey, 1857-1945
by Charles Schuyler Castner
The Derry Literary Guild, 1983 (356 pages, cloth, $29.95)

The trials and triumphs of one of America’s greatest suc­cess stories are recounted in this newest and most complete account of the central Pennsylvania community and confec­tionary company that bear his name, Milton Snavely Hershey. Featuring a bibliogra­phy, footnotes and numerous family photographs, One of a Kind characterizes the story and spirit of a remarkable indi­vidual, the ideal model of the American enterprise system. The book traces Hershey’s career in the candy-making business, from the repeated failures of the early years to his incredible rise as an inter­nationally known business­man and humanitarian. The author provides an in-depth historical perspective of Derry Township at the turn of the century and what was to become the bucolic commu­nity of Hershey. Castner also illustrates his subject’s influ­ence beyond this country’s borders, particularly with the once familiar wartime ration bar. A high-nutrient, cocoa butter-based series of “sur­vival” confections, the ration bar, according to research, helped save lifes in occupied European nations during and following World War II. The book describes the staggering growth and popularity which resulted for the company, as well as Hershey’s total com­mitment to his loyal employees and their families. One of a Kind does not, however, deify Hershey; instead, it includes glimpses of his private life, including his marriage, his fas­cination with gambling casinos and the horses, and his dis­trust of bankers and financial institutions.