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Categories: Organic Chemistry >> Synthesis >> Protecting Groups

Protecting Groups

Philip Kocienski

Hardcover, 680 Pages
3rd Edition, 2003
ISBN: 3-13-137003-3
Georg Thieme Verlag

ISBN: 1-58890-235-8
Georg Thieme Verlag (The Americas)


This new edition of "Protecting Groups" by Philip Kocienski is a valuable addition to the synthetic chemist's bookshelf and will find an appreciative audience. It contains an enormous amount of valuable and highly organized information. It is beautifully and clearly written; a pleasure to read. The introductory chapter provides a sophisticated overview of the application of protecting groups in contemporary syntheses. At the heart of the book are seven chapters which deal authoritatively and thoroughly with the protection of the various core functional groups, from carbonyl to amino. The closing epilog rounds off the presentation with an insight into the realities of synthetic practice and twenty-five problems for people who love to understand chemistry.

Editorial Review

"Protecting Groups" by Philip Kocienski is one of the most successful books on this topic. The quality has improved substantially from the first to the third edition, making the present book comparable to the standard reference work, "Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis". Still, it is possible to differentiate between the two books, even as Kocienski makes reference to "Greene and Wuts" in his own forward.

The manner in which the two books approach the topic seems to this reviewer to be entirely different. Thus, "Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis" represents a comprehensive reference that can streamline a lengthy search, and enable the rapid selection of an appropriate protecting group from tables. By contrast, "Protecting Groups" is more of a textbook, as exemplified by its presentation of the mechanisms for cleavage of individual protecting groups. In addition, the Kocienski work also highlights unsuccessful attempts to introduce protecting groups. In this regard, there is greater instructional value in "Protecting Groups". As the author is aware, this approach is also more engaging for the reader. The book is seasoned with anecdotes that make it a pleasure to read. The author's masterly touch is also quite evident in the selection of examples. Each one is described in careful detail, in contrast to the rudimentary information offered in Green and Wuts.

It would be quite difficult to strike a balance between the styles of these two books. "Protecting Groups" is the better book for advanced and graduate level students who wish to learn organic synthesis tactics, while "Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis" is more suited to the rigors of everyday laboratory practice. Ideally, one would apply the fundamentals learned from the Kocienski book to individual cases culled from the much larger collection of different protecting groups found in Green and Wuts.

Anyone with an interest in protecting groups should look into "Protecting Groups" by Philip Kocienski. Better books are available for making rapid comparisons between individual protecting groups, but the interesting and instructive discussions of the well-chosen examples in Kocienski's monograph are of enormous value.


Chapter 1 Protecting Groups: An Overview
Chapter 2 Carbonyl Protecting Groups
Chapter 3 Diol Protecting Groups
Chapter 4 Hydroxyl Protecting Groups
Chapter 5 Thiol Protecting Groups
Chapter 6 Carboxyl Protecting Groups
Chapter 7 Phosphate Protecting Groups
Chapter 8 Amino Protecting Groups
Epilogue: Problems, Problems, Problems...