Living in Germany, I am unfortunately not very well informed about books which provide a detailed survey of the history of the United States.
One can disregard the common academical reading in Germany - the facts are presented correctly but often biased by subliminal political attitudes of the author. (In fact, one can learn about the political attitudes by analyzing how facts are measured).
A scientist published a work including 600 pages without mentioning the Affirmation Action. ( Of course the United States as well as Europe would be better off without this chimera of such social engineering). But not to mention this central idea of the Greater Society ( please correct me if I am wrong about it), falls far short.
Which books are to recommend?
Answer by Caroline
And here is my answer, since the user interface is flaky: William J. Bennett's America: The Last Best Hope, volumes 1-3.
Answer by Mark Monaghan
If you get past the survey stage and can handle a long term project I heartily recommend The Oxford History of The United States series. These books are very well written and researched. The are not published in chronological order but enough of them have been completed to provide excellent coverage. If you don't want to read them all I'd say The Glorious Cause and The Battle Cry of Freedom which cover the revolution and the Civil War respectively.
Answer by Tom Lindholtz
Are you interested in facts, figures, dates, etc.? Or are you interested in getting a "feel" for what makes America tick? If it is the latter, might I suggest some biographies or historical novels.
(and may I take this opportunitytoo thank you, as a representative of the German people, for two of the most wonderful years of my life. I served in the American Army and was stationed in Germany from 1970-72. I lived in or near Erlangen by Nuremberg, and grew to love the country and the people....not to mention the food, the beer and the wine.)
Answer by J. D. Fitzpatrick
A Patriot's History of the United States is not bad. It's not as dispassionate as I would like, but that's better than the implicit leftist assumptions found in many histories.