In the sixties, field studies of animal behavior was a very new science. Sally Carrighar wrote this book to dispel many myths about animal behavior- particularly the Victorian notions that animals acted out of brutality or nobility etc., and the reactive ideas from the Industrial Age that attributed animal actions to mere mechanical response via insinct. The truth seems to lie somewhere in the middle- yes, animals are driven by instinct but they also have intelligence, basic emotions and individual preferences; thus Carrighar shows how similar animals' motives can be to our own. She divides her book into four main sections, exploring what were then-new observations on wildlife behavior in regards to parenting and raising the young, courtship and mating, the use of aggression and play or creativity. It's an intriguing collection of accounts, but somewhat dull because of its age. The book is solidly placed in its timeframe- when Carrighar wrote, Adolph Murie, George Schaller and Jane Goodall were currently young scientists conducting new field studies, with many of their significant discoveries yet to be made. Other great names which are only history to me, were contemporaries to her and spoken of as such: Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, Lois Crisler, Ernest Thompson Seton. For me the book was mostly a summary of things I've already known or accounts I've already read; the originals are much better sources. So the book is interesting in its historical aspect but very dated: a lot of its information is old hat now, and things she puzzled or wondered at have long since been explained. However I was surprised to find once again the incident of the boy in the badger's den once again related- although much briefer here. I wonder if she took her account straight from Seton's book.