Julia Child is recognized as the progenitor of good cooking in America, and she clearly was in the vanguard of classic French cooking in America.
Her book, My Life in France, co-written with her great-nephew Alex Prud'homme and which I am reading, reveals a Renaissance woman. Julia Child not only became an expert in French cuisine, but her years in France further developed what already was an intellect and a spirit open to many things.
She learned to speak French. She was familiar with the classics in art and literature. She knew history and contemporary events, most especially as they affected her beloved France.
Most important, the book reveals that Julia Child understood the world didn't begin and end at the suburban shopping mall. She grasped the big picture and lived her life by it.