Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins - Ian Tattersall I read this book in preparation for teaching a course on the relationship between human cultures and the non-human environment. We begin the semester with a section on human evolution where I establish the evidence for a naturalistic explanation of culture. I have had problems finding a book for this portion of the class, mainly because the books written for a general audience (as opposed to anthro or bio majors) are dominated by bad science writing filled with just-so stories, libertarian fantasies, and Evolutionary Psychology's most egregious sins. I am happy to report that this book does a fantastic job of not only walking the reader through the current understanding of human evolution, including major debates, gaps in the evidence, and clear explanations of the scientific process. The book presents a fascinating synthesis and repudiates some of the more common myths floating around the popular consciousness about human evolution, beginning with the argument that the Ardipithecus walked upright and dwelt in trees, that bipedality did not evolve afterwards but was an exaptation. The author does trip in the last two chapters as his desire to avoid inappropriate reductionistic explanations of human behavior leads him first to deny the importance of behavioral traits in the selective process and to overestimate the power of culture, and then to make nonsensical proclamations about society and culture in the Coda. This critique does not detract frothe usefulness of the book to introduce newcomers to the fun and captivating field of human evolution.