On these same country roads, far from the intrusions of modern technology, the Amish, Quakers, and other 'plain folk' live their unencumbered lives, close to the land, in peaceful, smoothly-run communities. The thought-provoking, often challenging essays in 'The plain reader' are written by men and women who rarely speak outside the borders of their local townships, and provide us with unique perspectives on life stripped down to necessity. Reading about a garden cooperative in Connecticut, the raising of a home with only plaster and straw in hand, a fascinating trip to New York City through Amish eyes, compels each of us wonder; Can I too survive without television or that high-tech appliance cluttering my kitchen counter? Am I just a cog in the wheel of the global economy? Is isolation from one another and from the earth the simple destiny of humankind? Each personal essay in this collection offers solace, wisdom, joy, and quiet space for contemplation.