Fields of Peace unites two remarkable talents in masterful volume. The text, written by Millen Brand, illuminates the history of the Pennsylvania German sects who were united in their rejection of infant baptism. He provides a sympathetic portrait of these fascinating people (often erroneously called “Pennsylvania Dutch”) who emigrated from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, found a home in the sympathetic commonwealth of William Penn, and settled primarily in and around Lancaster County. Primarily Amish and Mennonites, these are quiet and modest people whose lives of determined simplicity and whose passion for land seem totally anomalous in modern America. They continue to live lives of determined simplicity and agrarian focus that have all but disappeared.
The photographs by George Tice are some of the most compelling documentary imagery ever framed. In their unobtrusive vision, they capture the substance and the spirit of these self-reliant people. They also reflect over thirty years of gentle but persistent efforts to document their lives and record their customs. For George Tice, this has been a life work, and the breadth and generosity of his vision is manifest on every page.
First published in 1970 and here entirely reset with 39 new images added and every photograph reshot for duotone reproduction (as well as a new foreword by Sue Bender and a new afterword by Tice), this is not a “revised edition” but an entirely new book; one that will surely take its place among the classic documentary works of this century.