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Darrin M. McMahon


cover of Divine Fury: A History of Genius, by Darrin M. McMahon, Basic Books 2013

Darrin M. McMahon

Darrin M. McMahon is a historian, author, professor, moreright arrow


Darrin M. McMahon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of Intellectual & Cultural History. Read Announcement April 6, 2016, The New York Times.

Divine Fury: A History of Genius

Divine Fury: A History of Genius, Basic Books, was published in late 2013. It is the first comprehensive history of the elusive concept of genius, and follows the fortunes of genius and geniuses through the ages down to the present day, showing how – despite its many permutations and recent democratization – genius remains a potent force in our lives, reflecting modern needs, hopes, and fears.. moreright arrow

From the Critics

"A rich narrative... an intriguing story."— Tamsin Shaw, The New York Review of Books

"[An] erudite and engaging history of genius. McMahon is refreshingly unafraid to embrace the mythic dimension of his subject as part of its true importance, an approach that offers to deepen, not undermine, our appreciation of genius."— James Ryerson, The New York Times

"A deeply researched history of the idea of genius in the Western world."— Eric Felten, The Wall Street Journal

"An engaging survey of the history of genius in European culture, McMahon tells the history of genius with verve, wit and insight, and his book is a pleasure to read. Divine Fury makes innumerable fascinating connections and weaves many threads into a coherent narrative spanning 2,500 years. No theoretical statement could vindicate a revived history of ideas so well as this exemplary work ... a superb book that judiciously blends celebrations of genius with cautionary tales."— Warren Breckman, The Nation

View selected comments and information about Professor McMahon's books moreright arrow

Articles and Essays

Read Professor McMahon's articles on genius, happiness, and the Enlightenment moreright arrow

Interviews and Presentations

Listen (and watch) recorded interviews and seminars with Professor McMahon about genius, happiness, and other topics. moreright arrow

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