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Name Reactions and Reagents in Organic Synthesis

Bradford P. Mundy, Michael G. Ellerd, Frank G. Favaloro

Hardcover, 882 Pages
2nd Edition, April 2005
ISBN: 0-471-22854-0


This Second Edition is the premier name resource in the field. It provides a handy resource for navigating the web of named reactions and reagents. Reactions and reagents are listed alphabetically, followed by relevant mechanisms, experimental data (including yields where available), and references to the primary literature. The text also includes three indices based on reagents and reactions, starting materials, and desired products. Organic chemistry professors, graduate students, and undergraduates, as well as chemists working in industrial, government, and other laboratories, will all find this book to be an invaluable reference.

Editorial Review

It has taken 17 years for the second edition of “Name Reactions and Reagents in Organic Synthesis” to appear. With the mounting curiosity over such a period, this book is certain to receive an exacting appraisal.

To come right to the point, the huge number of name reactions and reagents is really quite impressive. There is far more involved than minor revision, since a great many new transformations that have been developed over the intervening time now find their way into the book. The amount of detailed work by these authors is simply amazing! Each reaction is covered on two pages, typically presented with a reaction scheme, one mechanism, and four current examples from the literature (up to the year 2005), which is a powerful springboard for further inquiry.

Unfortunately, the explanations of some of the reactions come up a bit short. The authors themselves recommend that readers, "Feel free to write in the text... transform this into your book of Name Reactions! It is intended to serve as a starting point". This reviewer whole-heartedly agrees with such an approach - the monograph is an excellent “starting point”. Books that include more text tend to promote incorrect or outmoded conclusions that end up being refuted at length by later literature reports. A reader may feel more secure consulting a lengthier text, without really interacting with the material. A spare presentation is a big plus for some readers, though, who prefer to acquire the fundamentals with the help of such a compendium, and then consult the current literature for a more in-depth understanding.

As each of the reactions and reagents are treated within a relatively brief space, an unbelievable number of transformations are found within these 882 pages. What’s more, there are descriptions of a number of chemicals such as TBAF that wouldn’t necessarily be considered name reagents, and many other abbreviations and acronyms are included. Thus, the scope of the information available from “Name Reactions and Reagents in Organic Synthesis” is much larger than one might expect from a run of the mill monograph on name reactions. This work is too comprehensive to be purely a textbook, even though it is excellent value for the money, but it will play a significant role as a reference work in the academic and professional realm.