This popular science book takes a look at animal behavior (the focus is primates) and psychology. In the process, it leaves the reader with much to ponder. We can learn a lot about ourselves while studying others.
The chief question is whether primates have culture or if humans are anthropomorphizing their traits. It does include a short history of anthropomorphology if you are not familiar with the practice of ascribing human traits and characteristics to animals. There is also a brief review of some of the field's pioneers.
Frans de Waal challenges the idea that humans are the only form of intelligent life to move from the natural to the cultural domain. Hence the title, he compares the way behavior is transmitted by apes to how a sushi master passes on skills to an apprentice.
To sum up: good, well written exploration of nature vs. nurture; culture vs. biology. Many interesting antidotes coupled with rigorous research, and some fascinating speculation. Thought provoking.TIGER link: QL785 .W126 2001