His work has appeared in a variety of American and German publications, including the American Prospect, American Interest, Atlantic Monthly, The Believer, Boston Globe, Deutschland Radio, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Print, Spiegel Online, Tagesspiegel, and Weltkunst. He is the staff caricaturist for The American Interest, a book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal, and the host of a radio show on NPR Berlin/Worldwide.

Magill is the author of two books: Chic Ironic Bitterness (Michigan, 2007), winner of a 2008 Eric Hoffer Notable Book in Culture Award and nominated for the 2008 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, and Sincerity: How A Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notion that We All Have Something to Say (No Matter How Dull) (W.W. Norton, 2012), which was chosen as both a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Wall Street Journal Top-Ten Nonfiction Book of 2012.

Magill holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Hamburg, an MA in art history and philosophy from Stony Brook University, and a BFA/BA in painting, drawing, and philosophy from Kutztown University, in Pennsylvania. He has taught at the University of Lüneburg and at Harvard University, where he received a 2001 Derek Bok Award for Distinction in Teaching.

A Philadelphia native, Magill lives with his wife and son in the Schöneberg neighborhood of Berlin.

Photo credit: Gunter Klötzer