J.M. Roberts and Odd Arne Westad, The Penguin History of the World, Sixth Edition (Viking Penguin, 2014)
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind (Random House Publishing, 1993)
Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (Harper Collins, 2005)
For smart analysis of current issues and some of the best written essays in the English language, read The New York Review of Books.