Continuous Improvement Booklist
Some of the best insight into Lean Manufacturing is provided by the early pioneers of Industrial Engineering and Scientific Management. Jeff Maling of IBM has a real knack for uncovering some of these gems, like C.E. Knoeppels - Installing Efficiency Methods, where he describes the first pull system: in 1915.
I'm slowly building a list of these references in a Google library. All books are "full view" which typically means they are in the public domain.
If you think Lean is a Japanese culture thing---read these books and think again!