That is a fun read, thanks for posting. Some of those books I've not known about before. And some surprised me, like Alton Brown loving the Jeff Smith book. I've had no first-hand experience with Jeff's books, but remember his show well where he didn't cook so much as present dishes that his sidekick (Craig?) seemed to have done all the cooking for. I don't think of Jeff as a cook. Never heard of Flo Braker before but I will admit to laughing at the thought of someone with THAT name being an expert baker.
Re Tom and Jacques, I have to wonder if they misunderstood the question and the context within which their answer would be used. I can see the email asking the question coming in, some assistant shorthanding it into "Hey Tom, what would you recommend to young people wanting to learn to cook..." and him giving that answer, which the assistant dutifully sends back to the article's author.
I notice no one ever tried to cook their way through Larousse Gastonomique.