This is a very old post that surprisingly never received a response, so for the benefit of others who might have the same question as Feuchtwanger...
If I had to pick just one reference book for the classic US commemorative series, it would have to be Q. David Bowers' Commemorative Coins of the United States - A Complete Encyclopedia. It provides a wealth of information on each of the coins in the series and presents it in an easy-to-consume manner. It is my first recommendation to collectors looking for a comprehensive volume; it is available in hardcover and softcover.
That said, you wouldn't go wrong with either Anthony Swiatek's Commemorative Coins of the United States - Identification and Price Guide (Amos Press/CoinWorld, 2001) or Kevin Flynn's The Authoritative Reference on Commemorative Coins 1892-1954. Each provides a good body of information on each coin, with the Flynn book being a bit more "scientific."
The Flynn book is still available "New," with the Bowers and Swiatek volumes generally available via used book outlets.
One note regarding coin values presented in these books, remember to use the information provided only to understand relative values between the various coins and conditions within each issue. DO NOT use them to determine current values/selling prices for the coins as the information they contain is out-of-date.
Collecting history, one commemorative coin (or medal) at a time!
Original content (c) Commems, 2012-2014