AMISH, ETC: Meet The Man Behind “Devil’s Playground, Amish in The City, Nat Geo Specials: Daniel Laikind

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Daniel Laikind has sort of been doing what I’ve been doing and for almost as long: chronicling Amish life, its charms and its flaws.  I’ve done mine primarily in print, while he has the tough task of capturing their life on film. I was thrilled to get to talk to him this past week to reflect upon the just-concluded 10-part series “Amish: Out of Order” which aired on the Nat Geo channel.  He’s a New York City guy, but he enjoys a genuine connection to Amish culture.  I’ll confess that on many of his shows I’ve squawked loudly about how they wouldn’t be worth watching and that there wouldn’t be much redeeming. Each time, however, I’ve had to eat my words.  I enjoyed the Nat Geo special and his first Amish-oriented documentary, Devils Playground.  And, look, I even came ’round on Amish in the City after watching a few episodes.  A photo of Daniel appears to the left.  Click below to listen to this week’s episode of “Amish, Etc”.  Let me know how you all are enjoying these podcasts!

By the way, Daniel kept a blog of his thoughts and observations as the Nat Geo show aired. Here is one of his more poignant pieces.

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The Discussion


  1. I very much enjoy your blog. But, I will say I really do not like podcast, video and recordings of items that can be transcribed. I really like to read. I am in front of a computer all day and get sick of ‘watching’. I finding reading relaxing, abet on the computer still. Is there a way to offer both a podcast and the it in written form? And I am not ‘old’ =) I am just about to turn 40.

    Thank you for your blog. I find it beyond fascinating and just very real. I went to college in Wooster, OH. That is where my interest in the Amish started and then continued into adult life.

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    • Tami,
      I do understand where you are coming from…this is still a bit of a work in progress. I do think future podcasts will offer some sort of written transcript to go with it….I plan to make these podcasts available via Itunes so people can listen to them in their car, I think that might be nice for some people…Thanks for the feedback, Tami. Anyone else share Tami sentiments? – Kevin

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      • Kevin,
        Even in my car I wouldn’t listen to a podcast. When I am in my car alone I am listening to music. Well, or occasionally yelling at people for not turning into their lane =) I just like to read. I like reading.

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  2. Sorry Kevin I agree with Tami I’m not on as much cause I really don’t like the new set up…

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  3. I just saw “Devil’s Playground” and hadn’t heard of it, was really surprised it had been produced so long ago. With the new Amish docudramas so popular on tv, it would be nice to see a new updated movie about the lives of these kids on the original DP and what has become of them.

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