I'm trying to learn more about the history of a few select countries, namely England, France, Russia, China and the USA. While I've read some history, I haven't really had the chance to delve deep in the history of particular countries. I'm hoping some of you will be able to recommend some good history books, focuing primarily on one of the five countries above. I'm looking for books that go back several centuries, even as far back as the medieval period. For example, I've previously read Howard Zinn's "A people's history of the United States", a somewhat controversial history book that attempts to tell history from the view of "the people". In other words, I'm not necessarily looking for regular schoolbooks, although I am open for those as well. If you can recommend an interesting history book with a particular perspective, I'm all ears. I know this is a forum primarily for politics, but history and politics goes very well together, and some history books do have a certain political perspective as well, such as the book mentioned above. TL;DR. Looking for history books dealing specifically with one of the following countries: England, France, USA, Russia and China. Ideally, the book should go back at least to the 1700's, but it could very well go back to the middle ages or even earlier.