The main American rags are Stereophile and The Absolute Sound.
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Two books that may be available at your local library. If you like them and find them to be worthwhile reading, you can always buy a copy to have handy.
Good Sound by Laura Dearborn
The Complete Guide to High End Audio by Robert Harley
Both books offer a glimpse of what goes into building a hi-fi system and how to select components. As a i said, both are a "glimpse" of what this field is about, so don't consider either of them to be "all inclusive".
As for audio rags, get ready to sort through a bunch of tripe. You'll have to learn how to read between the lines in a hardcore fashion if you really want to learn and be informed. The same thing goes for the above two books and any post ( mine included ) on the net. Everyone has personal preferences / biases / outside influences and they are bound to creep up when composing their comments.
As to the difference in sonics from England to the USA, they are abundant in both preferences and gear. "Anglophiles" are lovers of the "English sound". There are followers of French, Italian, Asian, Nordic, etc... "family sounds" also. As to what "Americans" prefer, our sonic preferences are as diverse as our cultures i.e. no two people will hear or like various components to the same degree. As such, you'll have to listen for yourself and see what YOU like as an individual. There is quite a bit of "good" gear out there and most of what you will end up with will be what suites you sonically. Either that or you'll fall prey to recommendations of various resources ( magazines, dealers, "netizens", etc...) and always be looking. Sean