American Ways: A Cultural Guide to the United States.
The book was written with the intent of providing practical guidance to foreign students and professionals who would be coming to the United States for an extended stay, to brief them on the culture they would find there, and the attitudes and beliefs that drive American behavior and cause it to be idiosyncratic and peculiar to foreign observers.
What I found there was not very flattering, but not at all deniable. The authors present a fairly unbiased view of American culture (their intention being to provide an accurate guide to foreign students, not to critique culture, though I suppose some editorializing to be inevitable), and just as general reading material, it was absorbing: I devoured the book, devoting most of my waking hours to poring over it or reflecting on what I had read. Absolutely fascinating.
Is it a worthwhile read for user experience professionals? Definitely. My sense is that it does much to address the concerns I had originally stated about our notion of the attitudes, beliefs, and precipitating behaviors of users being restricted to the proclivities and peculiarities of the region and demographics of test subjects - and I feel better equipped to assess whether findings are skewed by the culture of a small group who may not be representative of the mass audience.
Does it have shortcomings? Of course. But I don't feel prepared to tender any critical remarks, being as the book was not written for the same purpose for which I read it - to evaluate the book in terms of my personal interests would be unfair, and to evaluate it in terms of the author's intent would be only obliquely related to the topics I'm prepared to discuss in my notebook.