Darrin M. McMahon

Darrin M. McMahon is a historian, author, and public speaker, who lives in Westport, CT and Quechee, VT and is the David W. Little Class of 1944 Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Formerly McMahon was the Ben Weider Professor of History and Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University.

Born in Carmel, California, and educated at the University of California, Berkeley and Yale, where he received his PhD in 1998, McMahon is the author of Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2001); Happiness: A History (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), which has been translated into twelve languages and was awarded Best Books of the Year honors for 2006 by the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Library Journal, and Slate Magazine; Divine Fury: A History of Genius (Basic Books, 2013); and Equality: The History of an Elusive Idea (Basic Books, 2023). In addition, McMahon is the editor of History and Human Flourishing (Oxford University Press, 2022), and also, with Joyce Chaplain, of Genealogies of Genius (Palgrave 2015); with Ryan Hanley, of The Enlightenment: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies, 5 vols. (Routledge, 2009), and, with Samuel Moyn, of Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History (Oxford University Press, 2014).

A recipient of major fellowships from the Mellon and Guggenheim Foundations, McMahon has taught as a visiting scholar at Columbia University, New York University, Yale University, the University of Rouen, the École Normale Supérieur, the École des Hautes Études, and the University of Potsdam. His writings have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the New Republic, and Slates. He writes regularly for the Literary Review in London. He is former co-editor of the journal Modern Intellectual History, and is the series editor of the University of Chicago Book Series, The Life of Ideas.

McMahon is represented by Alex Kane at the William Morris Endeavor Agency.

All speaking and media inquiries regarding Equality should be directed to Joanne Raymond, Publicist, Basic Books: joanne.raymond@hbgusa.com.

Download Prof. McMahon’s CV

photo credit: © Jerri Graham Photography