He is the author of four books, including Make Love, Not War and I Can't Believe I Just Did That, and has served as a faculty member at Princeton University and a visiting scholar at Columbia University at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. His essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine and other publications. While an undergraduate at Brown University, Allyn co-authored a book on transferring from one college to another. He and his co-author (later wife) were profiled in The Washington Post and featured on CNN. He has also published articles in Nonprofit and Voluntary Management Quarterly, The Journal of American Studies, Teachers College Record, The Advocate, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Allyn is the stepson of the late John Wallach, founder of the nonprofit organization Seeds of Peace.
Allyn's play Commencement was selected for the 2010 Baltimore Playwrights Festival. His play Punctuated Equilibrium received a staged reading by the Hangar Theatre Lab in Ithaca, NY in July 2010. His play Writers Colony appeared in the 2009 Fresh Fruit Festival in New York City, and Baptizing Adam won the James H. Wilson Award for Best-Full Length Play. According to the New York Times, Allyn is "a wicked observer of self-conscious people at their less than best." As an expert on the 1960s, Allyn has appeared on Vh1 and The History Channel.
Allyn graduated from the Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. He holds a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. From 1996–1999, he taught at Princeton University.
- Morris, Bob (January 11, 2004). "The Age of Dissonance; Red-Faced to Meet You". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
- Tiger, Lionel (March 19, 2000). "Turned In, Turned On". New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- "Book Reviews". Peace & Change (Peace History Society and Peace and Justice Studies Association) 27 (4): 641–667. 2002. doi:10.1111/1468-0130.00249. ISSN 1468-0130.
- Parmar, Neil (May 1, 2004). "Self-Conscious? Get Over It". Psychology Today. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Gizowska, Eva (May 9, 2004). "Mind I'm so sorry, but do you mind reading this? Are you self-conscious, easily embarrassed, endlessly apologising?". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
- David Allyn, "Private Acts/Public Policy: Alfred Kinsey, the American Law Institute and the Privatization of American Sexual Morality," Journal of American Studies, Volume 30, Issue 03, December 1996, pp 405–428
- Volume 107, Number 7 (2005)
- Haagensen, Erik (July 15, 2009). "Writers Colony". Back Stage. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
- Weber, Bruce (August 30, 2002). "A Study of Lonely Souls, One of Them With a Gun". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2009.