Print details Printable details


The Divine Supermarket: Travels in Search of the Soul of America

The Divine Supermarket: Travels in Search of the Soul of America
Malise Ruthven

Foreword by: Colin Thubron

  • Paperback | In Stock | £11.99

  • Paperback | In Stock | $18.00

    add to basket


Travelling in a battered camping van, Malise Ruthven set out across America in search of the manifestations - often bizarre and sometimes terrifying - of its religious spirit. The journey took him from the dark woods of Puritan New England to neo-Nazi cults in the Rockies; from Mormons and Snake-handlers to fundamentalist groups who challenge the teaching of evolution; from Channellers in California to the sexual and financial scandals surrounding millionaire TV preachers. The Divine Supermarket is his zesty and brilliantly-observed account of the journey, offering illuminating and humorous insights into the quirky soul of modern America.

Author Info

Malise Ruthven is a writer and historian of the Islamic world. He has been a scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic and World Services and has taught Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion at the University of Aberdeen, the University of California and at Dartmouth. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, among other publications, and is the author of several books, including Fury for God, Fundamentalism and Encounters with Islam (I.B.Tauris, 2012).


‘This is a significant travel book… it has clear purpose and is not just a ramble through America. As Ruthven himself describes it, he set out to write “a kind of travel book: one that exposes the country’s psyche as well as its social and physical landscapes.” He is as good as his word.’
William Boyd

‘... One of our most consistently stimulating and sophisticated writers on contemporary religion ... .’
William Dalrymple

‘A perfect and crazy concept. . . It’s a rocking good read and something of a pocket guide to hell.’
Time Out

‘Ruthven is a civilised man, sharp-witted and clever, with an impressive mastery of American social and cultural history and he has written a brilliant account of his travels in search of our spiritual by ways and backwaters.’
Los Angeles Times

‘Ruthven weaves accurate historical information with first hand observations, interviews, and his own analysis. A readable book with some fresh insights. Recommended.’
Library Journal

‘...disturbing and unforgettable.’
Tom Adair, The Scotsman


Read an extract from the book here.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780760223
Publication Date: 29 May 2012
Number of Pages: 336
Illustrations: map

Also of Interest

First Russia, Then Tibet: Travels Through a Changing World

First Russia, Then Tibet
Robert Byron
£12.99 | $19.00

Traveling Through Egypt: From 450 B.C. to the Twentieth Century

Traveling Through Egypt

From a Persian Tea House: Travels in Old Iran

From a Persian Tea House
Michael Carroll
£9.99 | $17.00

New Book Alerts

Sign up now

Powered by Google