Julia Child revolutionised cooking in the US and this was the cookbook that launched her career. A native of California, Julia Child studied at Paris's famous Cordon Bleu, and worked under various distinguished French chefs. In 1951 she started her own cooking school in Paris, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle and the three women started compiling this cookbook. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published in 1961 and was an instant hit.
As close to a divine text as you can get -- Matthew Fort * Guardian *