Categories: Organic Chemistry >> Synthesis
Asymmetric Synthesis - The Essentials
Mathias Christmann, Stefan Bräse
Hardcover, 346 Pages
2nd Edition, 2007
A veritable "Who's who" of asymmetric catalysis. Compact contributions covering nearly every aspect of asymmetric catalysis highlight current research and provide a unique overview of the developments and achievements in the field.
The title “Asymmetric Synthesis - The Essentials” gives one the impression that particularly important reactions or fundamentals of asymmetric synthesis will be presented. However, the actual approach here is surprisingly different - The present contribution is not a textbook in the strictest sense, nor is it a reference work, but rather it features those researchers who have made the most remarkable advances in the field of asymmetric synthesis over the past two to three decades. In principle, the research groups were given roughly five pages in which to present their topic. Depending on the author, the information is presented with a good mechanistic background, and highlights a large variety of different catalysts and reactions, or follows a historical development. A few of the authors venture beyond their own immediate sphere, although the majority of the contributions are strictly focused on the researcher’s own work.
The editors could have allotted more space for all of the contributions throughout, resulting in a larger and more expensive book. With the book in its present form, however, readers can acquire a book that is filled with contributions by renowned researchers at a reasonable cost. The large number of contributed articles might be surprising were it not to celebrate the occasion of Dieter Enders’ sixtieth birthday. In this regard, the book gathers together highly-rated scientists, each of which offers a well-deserved tribute. Indirectly, through first-hand exposure to this treasure trove of reactions, the readers celebrate along with these luminaries. As an overview of the current research areas and their potential, the book provides a first introduction to the broader literature; readers will certainly find this useful when pursuing the topics that interest them, necessarily so because the five-page treatments here are so lean.
The half-page curriculum vitae for each of the authors is rather impressive; naming the schools where the participants received their training reinforces the positive impression produced in the reader by the majority of the contributions. I think that for many authors, this can serve as a business card, and quite successfully so. It will generate enthusiasm on the part of industry to collaborate with the respective research group, and on the part of advanced students to initiate graduate study in the group whose work is being showcased.
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