Human beings have evolved to become the most dominant species on Earth. This astonishing transformation is usually explained in terms of cognitive ability—people are just smarter than all the rest. But this book argues that culture—our ability to learn from each other—has been the essential ingredient of our remarkable success. The book shows how a unique combination of cultural adaptation and large-scale cooperation has transformed our species and assured our survival—making us the different kind of animal we are today. The book is based on the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, featuring challenging responses across the chapters.