The French revolution
A Stand-up History of the French Revolution
I’m less sure he's gotten his history right. Some reviews on Amazon criticize him for allegedly making dumb mistakes, such as confusing Louis XVI with Louis XIV. And he is a biased reporter with a true socialist viewpoint (not what right wing pundits call socialism), but he’s open with that bias, so you can factor that in with what he says and decide with how much salt to take it. He’s a Palestinian sympathizer also.
When Steel focuses on the French revolution, however, he offers a refreshing take on historical personages who are almost universally reviled. Among other things, he argues that the excesses of the Reign of Terror took place during a time of war, when most of the surrounding countries didn’t take kindly to regicide and wanted to restore the king — or any king, after Louis XVI was executed. There was even dissension from factions within France (which wasn’t a unified country in the sense we think of today). Even many of the revolutionaries themselves didn't want to do away with the monarchy or kill the king. France before the revolution was in bad shape, corrupt, with food held back from the public to drive up prices, and Louis' excesses helping to drain the nation's purse. So, while some of their acts were appalling, Steel argues the revolutionaries weren't necessarily power-hungry or evil.
Steel's history is not complete or comprehensive — in particular, I'd have liked more about the revolutionary calendar — and I wouldn't take it as gospel, but I enjoyed spending a few days with it. Now maybe I'll try a book by a conventional historian.