This is the last overall history of photography book I am going to share (at least for now). Photography: The Whole Story by Juliet Hacking includes narrative that ties time periods and ideas together, but the real highlight for me is the way it studies and explains significant photographs in detail using close-ups. This book is another that can be read front to back, but can also be lovely for exploring as an image or time period catches your attention.
A timeline marches along the bottom of the book, pulling significant moments into context with each other.
Really, with the four history books I’ve highlighted, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. Choose the one that best matches your learning style and your budget. If you get interested enough in photographic history you may even end up with all four of them, like me!