- B.A., University of Michigan
- M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (African, Atlantic history, world history)
After having taught at Millersville University since 1986, John Thornton joined the Boston University faculty in fall 2003. His specializations include Africa and the Middle East, as well as world history.
The Kingdom of Kongo: Civil War and Transition, 1641-1718 (1983)
Africa and Africans in the Formation of the Atlantic World, 1400-1680 (1992)
The Kongolese Saint Anthony. Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita and the Antonian Movement, 1684-1706 (1998)
Warfare in Atlantic Africa, 1500-1800 (1999)
He is now working (with Linda Heywood) on Angolans in the Early Anglo-Dutch Atlantic, 1615-50 (under contract with Cambridge University Press).