Anyone interested in learning to cook, Americas Test Kitchen Cooking School (And also Cooks Illustrated Cooking Science and Science of Good Cooking) would probably be good for much of HN's audience. It is much more of a cooking "textbook" than most cookbooks. It explains what you are doing and why you do it instead of just a big list of recipes. There is also Modernist Cuisine but those are really pricey.
These books tackle the “science” side of cooking rather than your recommendation’s history side. Both are, of course, excellent approaches and are much better than your standard cook book’s vomit of recipes with no context.
Classic Home Desserts (https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Home-Desserts-Treasury-Contem...) seems to be back in print!!! Yay!!! Not as theoretical as The Cake Bible, but it has interesting notes about the origins of various recipes. Try the Jack Daniels Raisin Roll -- one of my favorites.
As for learning to cook... yeah, the more I see "recipe" books completely decontextualized, the more bizarre they seem to me. Cooking is cultural, and arises from available ingredients, available tools, and known techniques. The idea that you can just make dishes completely in isolation from their cultural context is weirdly postmodernist.
I wonder how this ties in with the observations about Green Revolution agriculture and its impact on obesity and other modern dietary diseases? Like Michael Pollam's research?