I heartily recommend Raymond Fancher's "Pioneers of Psychology" for anyone interested in a theoretically-oriented history of the discipline (and if that isn't your interest, then this may not be the book for you--but that wouldn't be the book's fault).
Fancher's book is divided into 13 chapters. The first four cover moderist philosophers of mind like Descartes, Locke and Leibniz, review early brain anatomists from Gall to Penfield, and then return to philosophy with an excellent chapter on Kant, Helmholtz and Fencher. The middle chapters chronicle the beginnings of experimental and Gestalt psychology, the influence of Darwin and the beginnings of evolutionary psychology, the contributions of Galton and William James, the principle figures and discoveries of behaviorism, and wrap up with a chapter on mesmerism, hypnotism and its early practitioners and applications. The last three chapters tackle Freudian psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, and artificial intelligence. In short, the book covers a good chunk of ground.
Each chapter is uniform in length (about 35-40 pages) and typically begins with an anecdotal and biographical approach to the principle figure(s) addressed in the chapter. This strategy makes for engaging reading, even if it somewhat breaks up the linearity of the developments and milestones subsequently covered by the remainder of the chapter. It also limits the details Fancher can address to what can be surveyed in the remaining 25 or so pages of each chapter. In most cases this isn't a problem, but a few of the chapters would have benefited by adding a bit more discussion at the end, even if it resulted in a chapter or two being longer than the rest. The chapters on Freud and Darwin in particular end up omitting or truncating material that is really crucial to a balanced understanding. For example, Freud's metapsychology is given short schrift, as is the role of genetics in evolutionary biology. The book's arrangement into topical chapters also artificially mixes up the actual chronology of developments, resulting (for instance) in a discussion of behaviorism that precedes that of psychoanalysis, even though the latter movement preceded (and influenced)the former.
Minor criticisms aside, however, I thought Fancher does a very admirable job in covering historical that could have read like a mere laundry list figures and achievements, but doesn't; most of the material is presented in so compelling a fashion that it is interesting even when the reader already knows many of the details. And unlike many historians of psychology, Fancher has an excellent grasp of the philosophical texts and figures he discusses. I would have loved to see a final chapter bringing the history of psychology up to date with discussions of, say, existential psychology, contemporary quantificational research methods, narrative therapy, current controversies in the discipline, current trends toward medicating mental health, and the politicization of psychology--especially since what is at present the final chapter (on AI) reads more like an appendix than a conclusion.
In sum, I thought the book to be an excellent philosophical history of psychology (and a nice companion to Daniel Robinson's "An Intellectual History of Psychology," which focuses on pre-Modern philosophical developments and says relatively little about the scientific developments upon which Fancher focuses). And for a survey text, I thought it was admirably entertaining as well. It was certainly clearly-written and impeccably researched. It should thus appeal to novice and professional alike.