This is a series of essays on the general topic of the ways human nature expresses itself in various societies and to what extent human nature is tailored to the specifications of those societies. The basic question underlying the essays is this: are the achievements of different peoples due to innate differences or to differences in the history of experience to which they have been exposed. Montagu emphasizes the influence of cultural determinants in discussing such subjects as: the origin of social life, the nature of war, the problem of racism, the idea that ""blood"" is a transmitter of hereditary characteristics, why man weeps, laughs, swears, and attitudes towards food. He also deals with the emotional influences upon the developing human organism; how physical and mental sexual status has developed in human societies; the embryological beliefs of primitive people; and the connections between procreation, paternity and psychoanalysis. Many of the essays here have been the subjects of Montagu's previous books. He is, of course, a noted humanist and stylist and there is no question of his readability.