The title of this book neatly captures the arc of its narrative: Pennsylvania Dutch is a language—not “just a dialect.” Those who speak it—though popularly perceived as peculiar—are thoroughly American; and the tale of how this language was birthed, bloomed, faded, and yet thrives into the 21st century is well worth the telling. And in this telling, Louden succeeds in linking the lively present and future of Dutch among the plain people with its rich and revealing history among the non-plain Dutch people of Pennsylvania. [First paragraph]
Keiser, Steve Hartman. 2016. "Review of Louden, Mark. 2016. Pennsylvania Dutch: The Story of an American Language. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Pp. 473." Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies 4(2):222-27.