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Categories: Organic Chemistry

Pericyclic Reactions - A Textbook

Sethuraman Sankararaman

Softcover, 418 Pages
First Edition, 2005
ISBN: 3-527-31439-3
Wiley-VCH, Weinheim


This long awaited textbook presents Diels-Alder reactions, electrocyclic reactions, sigmatropic rearrangements plus many more topics in a highly didactic way, with both classical and new examples explained in detail.

With a foreword by Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann.

Editorial Review

Reactions in which rings are formed or that involve passage through a cyclic transition state, where a concerted shift of electrons plays a role, can be explained with just a few rules. Is the reaction thermally allowed or forbidden, and most of all, what configuration will the final product have? Answers can be had easily, with just some knowledge. However, these questions are extremely important in view of the impact of such reactions on the construction of interesting intermediates. As evidenced by some recent transformations in natural product synthesis alone, the potential of these reactions is so broad that the topic can only be covered in a superficial and unsatisfactory manner in textbooks that are devoted to a general treatment of organic chemistry. Thus, students who have difficulties with molecular orbital diagrams or in understanding the associated terminology and rules, or who wish to delve further into the subject for a special topics course, will want to consult a more in-depth treatment.

The book “Pericyclic Reactions - A Textbook” meets the expectations for just such a work. Only a little basic knowledge is necessary for the reader to follow the material. The author has made an effort to accompany all explanations with relatively simple schemes that clarify and support the text with minimal digression. A further bonus is the presentation of numerous specific transformations, which exemplify for the reader the enormous range of application for pericyclic reactions. The chapters are well-structured, with an introduction that is followed by a few sample reactions and cogent explanations.

The fundamentals of this subject are clarified in detail in this monograph, while it also offers many additional pointers and reactions that would disrupt the flow in a conventional textbook. Though its somewhat modest appearance belies the work’s compelling value, this is a substantial contribution to the field that is well worth the price. “Pericyclic Reactions - A Textbook” is recommended for everyone with an abiding interest in this topic.


Molecular Orbitals and Their Symmetry
Electrocyclic Reactions
Cycloaddition Reactions
Sigmatropic Rearrangements
Chelotropic, Group Transfer and Ene Reactions
Special Topics