- McMahon on why it's time to retire the concept of genius: From Issac Newton to the Genius Bar in Nautilus, October 16, 2014.
- McMahon on the democratization of genius in The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 23, 2013.
- McMahon on how the French Revolution gave us the Cult of Genius, in New Republic, October 19, 2013.
- McMahon on Einstein in The Wall Street Journal, September 2008.
- McMahon, D.M. "From the Paleolithic to the present: Three revolutions in the global history of happiness", In E. Diener, S. Oishi, & L. Tay (Eds.), Handbook of well-being. Salt Lake City, UT: DEF Publishers. DOI: nobascholar.com, 2018
- "History Lesson," (For most of history, people didn't assume they deserved to be happy. What changed?) Quartz, April 18, 2017.
- McMahon on the history of happiness in L'Unita (Rome), January 2013.
- McMahon on happiness and unhappiness at the holidays in The New York Times: January 2005 and January 2012.
- McMahon on "A History of Happiness: We've forgotten much of what older traditions knew about happiness" in YES!, October 2010
- McMahon on the history of happiness in the The Washington Post: April 2007 and June 2007.
- McMahon on the meaning of the "pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2005.
- McMahon on the paradox of progress in the The Wall Street Journal, December 2003.
on the Enlightenment and the Eighteenth Century
- "Lighting the Enlightenment," October 18, 2018
- McMahon on Jonathan Israel's Democratic Enlightenment in The New York Times, December 2011.
- McMahon on 18th-century cosmopolitanism in The Wall Street Journal, July 2006.
- McMahon on David Hume and JJ Rousseau in The New York Times, April 2006.
- McMahon on Voltaire in The Wall Street Journal, November 2005.
- McMahon on the 18th-century Encyclopedia in The Wall Street Journal, June 2005.
- McMahon on the origins of conspiracy-thinking in the 18th century in The Boston Globe, February 2004.
- McMahon on the 18th-century Encyclopedia in The Boston Globe, June 2003.
- McMahon on Adam Smith in The Wall Street Journal, November 2002.
- McMahon on Isaiah Berlin and the Counter-Enlightenment in The Wall Street Journal, March 2002.
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