I'm not sure, but I wonder if you would do better to focus on a specific country or period, at least to begin with. After all, history is ... well, there's so much of it. I can't imagine that any one book giving an overview in any useful level of detail.
Just a thought.
(By the way, I see your Karma is 1000001. I didn't realise they were doing it in binary these days <g>.)
Currently reading: And We Shall Shock Them (David Fraser); The Secret Agent (Joseph Conrad)