Be on time, don't talk politics, don't be overly physical with strangers, tip generously and bring a casserole if you're invited to a potluck. These are some of the nuggets of wisdom guidebook writers offer foreign visitors to the U.S.

Going farther ... Truck stops offer America's greatest culinary adventure. Men should hug only on the sports field. And the South can be, well, confusing.

As Max Fisher also noted in an enlightening article for the Atlantic, this is America -- or at least it's the version reiterated in the guides foreign travelers use like Bibles.  Each sells America as an idea: a place for baseball, apple pie and a day at the mall.

What in this massive country deserves to be seen and why, the authors wonder? And what makes Americans American?

The answers may seem comically oversimplistic to some. After all, Americans already know what a garage sale or a doggie bag is, why barbecue is better in the South, and when to talk about guns and with whom.

But by looking at what makes the U.S. different from everyone and everywhere else, these guidebooks tell us as much about the U.S. as they do the inquisitive world.

From Fodor's to Frommer's, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Wikitravel and more, here's a look at 10 things guides tell foreign visitors about America.

Press Start to be enlightened.