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Categories: Organic Chemistry

Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry

Mark G. Moloney

Softcover, 306 Pages
First Edition, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4051-1451-6


The jump from an understanding of organic chemistry at lower undergraduate level to that required at postgraduate level or in industry can be difficult. Many advanced textbooks contain a level of detail which can obscure the essential mechanistic framework that unites the huge range of facts of organic chemistry. Understanding this underlying order is essential in any advanced study or application of organic chemistry. Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry aims to bridge that gap.

The text opens with a short overview of the way chemists understand chemical structure, and how that understanding is essential in developing a good knowledge of chemical reactivity and mechanism. The remainder of the text presents a mechanistic classification of modern organic chemistry, developed in the context of synthetic organic chemistry and exemplified by reference to stereoselective synthesis and protecting group chemistry. This approach is intended to illustrate the importance and value of a good grasp of organic reaction mechanisms, which is a prerequisite for a broader understanding of organic chemistry.

Written by an expert educator with a sound understanding of the needs of different audiences, the subject is presented with clarity and precision, and in a highly practical manner. It is relevant to undergraduates, postgraduates and industrial organic chemists.

Editorial Review

At first glance, Mark G. Moloney's book appears quite compact. Nevertheless, the author succeeds in conveying important fundamentals within this limited space, for example concerning molecular structure (AO, MO), the structure of organic compounds (isomers) and reactivity (thermodynamics and kinetics). Each individual chapter also contains extended commentaries that appeal to advanced students, which makes the chapter on specific mechanisms (e.g., nucleophilic substitution) especially valuable. The introduction, mechanistic details and good, concrete examples found here provide students with a greater depth of knowledge.

What will scare off beginners works quite well for the advanced students, and that is a comprehensive analysis from the simple fundamentals to complex examples within a single chapter, which facilitates rapid learning and memorization. The consistently good illustrations (e.g., the MOs in cycloadditions) and a writing style that is easy to understand make "Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry" a modern textbook that one is eager to pick up for reviewing the fundamentals. The book is ideal in this respect, for when one wants to revisit the most important material once more before an exam; because of its coverage, it can’t replace an actual set of lecture notes or the primary textbook, but supplements them nicely!


1. Bonding
2. Structure
3. Reactivity
4. Intermediates
5. Acidity and Basicity
6. Nucleophilic Substitution
7. Addition Reactions
8. Elimination Reactions
9. Aromatic Substitution
10. Sequential Addition and Elimination Reactions
11. Radical Reactions
12. Ligand Coupling Reactions
13. Pericyclic Reactions