SMU Libraries select books for a number of reasons that are not always due to their academic merit. You need to determine if the book you want to use is worth engaging with for the purposes of your study. Things to look for:
Good publishers will fact-check all claims and ensure that citations are correct.
Many reputable commercial publishers produce scholarly works.
The U.S. Constitution requires that the various branches of government record and publish their activities. These documents and reports should be factual and unbiased.
Most universities seek to help scholars disseminate their work, rather than make a profit. University presses can almost always be trusted to produce high quality work. Scholarly associations and learned societies typically can be grouped with university presses in terms of quality of their publishing output.
Though books do not go through peer-review prior to publication, they often get reviewed. Look for book reviews to discover impactful authors and important viewpoints.