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Organic Chemistry (Fourth Edition) Hardcover – November 16, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0393931495 ISBN-10: 0393931498 Edition: Fourth Edition

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Organic Chemistry (Fifth Edition)
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Product Details

  • Series: Organic Chemistry Fourth Edition
  • Hardcover: 1220 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Fourth Edition edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393931498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393931495
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I am very, very pleased with the format, content, and perspective this text offers. Thank you for the high quality of the book. -- Eric J. Sorin, student, Victor Valley College

I have started teaching the course and am extremely happy with Organic Chemistry. It is so pedagogical and so well put together! I think you have a winner with this one. I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes "the" organic chemistry text in colleges around the country in the near future. Word of mouth will help and I'm all for it. -- Gerald Hammond, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

I like this book! The writing is the clearest and most readable I've encountered. The illustrations leap off the page. It is very well done! -- Randy Robinson, Luther College

I would like you to know that I find Organic Chemistry to be very easy to read and understand. This may not sound like a lot, but it is. Many texts are worded for the professors instead of the students and that is not much help for those of us who are trying to grasp concepts that are quite difficult. -- Sherry Carder, student, Glenville State College

Jones's conversational tone and evident! Good humor are well-suited to his aim of reducing organic chemistry to rational and recognizable patterns, all founded on a purely qualitative approach to molecular orbital interactions. Students are quickly led to a level of mechanistic analysis not found in other introductory texts. -- Bart Kahr, University of Washington

Maitland Jones's Organic Chemistry is an excellent text. It has a superb focus, a fresh approach, and an easy readability that would make it worthy of consideration by any organic instructor. -- Michael S. Holden, Dickinson College, Journal of Chemical Education, March 1998

Maitland Jones's Organic Chemistry is written in plain English, which makes it easy to understand. Its mechanistic approach is unprecedented and ought to eliminate rote memorization. -- Cosmos O. Okoro, University of Arkansas

Organic Chemistry is an absolute joy to use. Sometimes I find myself reading it just for the fun of it, and the students can't say enough good things about it. . . . Maitland Jones's special talent for selecting the topics, and most important, the right words and illustrations, make the whole text just dazzling in every respect. -- James D. Morrison, University of New Hampshire

The coverage is excellent and I particularly like the way the author sets up arguments rather than just stating facts. The discussion of hydroboration typifies this very successful approach. -- J. M. Percy, University of Birmingham

[Organic Chemistry] is the most exciting undergraduate organic textbook I have seen during my 25 years of teaching organic. I had on occasion given some thought to writing a textbook for undergraduates . . .. Your own book comes closest to what I would have liked to write, and more. -- Moses K. Kaloustian, Fordham University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Maitland Jones, Jr., is Professor of Chemistry at New York University. His undergraduate and graduate degrees are from Yale University. A long-time teacher of the organic chemistry course at Princeton, he is also an internationally recognized research scientist. His field of expertise is reactive intermediates, extremely short-lived molecules that exist only momentarily in the course of a chemical reaction. Within that subfield, Professor Jones is particularly interested in carbenes, carbon atoms with only two of their bond-forming electrons linked to other atoms, instead of the usual four. He is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on this subject and travels widely, lecturing on his research.

Steven A. Fleming has been teaching organic chemistry for 30 years. He is Professor of Teaching and Instruction at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He earned his BS degree at the University of Utah and his PhD at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He taught at Brigham Young University (BYU) for 23 years before moving to Temple University in 2008. His research at BYU dealt with regio- and stereo-controlled carbon–carbon bond forming reactions. His research at Temple University is in the area of chemical education. He has been instrumental in the development of the teaching tools Organic Reaction Animations (ORA) and Bio-Organic Reaction Animations (BioORA). These tools have helped, and continue to help, students understand organic chemistry and biochemistry.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a HUGE waste of time and money.
I had a really great teacher, but sometimes the same concept explained slightly differently will make all the difference.
The Study Guide/Solutions Manual would be helpful though.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jones' book definitely stands out among other organic chemistry textbooks. Unlike every other organic chemistry book I've looked at, this book does not once use the excuse "...but that is beyond the scope of this course..." Jones manages to explain just about everything and if you actually take the time to do the problems as they're presented, you will find yourself able to answer fundamental orgo questions without memorizing. On the other hand, this book is not for the weak of heart. You must be motivated to use this book precisely because of the aforementioned. Jones will NEVER give a superficial explanation. There is literally an explanation for EVERTHING and it takes some patience to decide what's important for an upcoming exam and what will contribute to your complete understanding of the subject. If you're the above average student, this is definitely for you. If you're not, then well...let's put it this way, you'll definitely learn something. There's also the added plus that the author doesn't assume everyone's an expert right off and as a result uses very basic scientific language to begin with.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By btown51 on August 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The format of this book is gross. Not a single bond-line structure is to be found; every molecule looks like this: CH3CH2CH2CH2CH(CH)2CH3. It's incredibly frustrating, especially in the stereochemistry chapter, where enantiomers are virtually indistinguishable. The text is unfocused and rambling. The chapter on chemical equilibria was the most ham-handed discussion of the topic I've encountered anywhere.

This book contributes nothing to chemical education, and it's completely worthless to the student unless he purchases the accompanying study-guide. The Solomons and Fryhle book is far, far superior. Also, the new textbook by David Klein is fantastic at concisely explaining reaction mechanisms with the intention of applying these skills directly to synthesis problems. (The chapter on chemical energetics in Klein is outstanding, even my professor complemented the author in lecture). I'm using this book (Klein) in class now and I appreciate it immensely after having suffered through Jones for a semester.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have 2 main complaints about this book. First of all, the author will go on and on and on for pages giving a detailed explanation only to say in the end that it is not correct. He thinks this is helpful, however, it is extremely confusing and an enormous waste of time. Also, he lacks the ability to present material in a simple, logical and concise way. For example, when presenting substitution and elimination reaction mechanisms, he goes on for 75 pages (yes, the chapter is 75 pages long!!) yet never simply lists the basics for determining which mechanism will occur. All you want is a simple table, for example, 1) SN2 - favored by primary carbon, polar aprotic solvent, strong nucleophile, etc. 2)SN1........ If you have to get this book, purchasing the solution manual is a must. One good thing, the author is entertaining - read footnotes, etc. - and he tells cute anecdotes.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By on June 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
My class just recently switched texts to Jones' offering and I think the change will last. I can sincerely say I enjoyed learning Organic Chemistry with Jones' text. His style makes you feel as if you're engaged in conversation and his tone avoids any hint of condescendence. These factors combined with pleasant illustrations make for a text that is easy to read and easy to learn from. It is not perfect, however, as several small errors in mechanisms and simple typos were encountered and often pointed out by my professor. It also lacked a sufficient amount of practice problems. But overall, the book is able to take an overwhelming amount of information and manipulate it into digestable bite-sized packages. It truly made learning easy (as easy as you can get in an orgo class) and (dare I say it) fun.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jones' book seems to either evoke hatred or unconditional love. Jones is able to capture the drama, personalities, and god-awful fuzzy uncertainty inherent in organic chemistry. The outcomes he focuses on are critical thinking skills and problem solving which are skills every student will carry after the mechanisms have faded from memory. It is scary to use and more difficult to teach from than texts that simplify the subject to the point of robbing its richness. Be brave and give it a try. It is worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark on June 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As you're probably aware, organic chemistry is a course that fills massive lecture halls with anxious students every year, most of whom aren't there because they want to learn organic chemistry.

In that context, this book is exactly what I expected an organic chemistry book to be. It doesn't delve into things, intellectually toying with them and exploring them in challenging or fascinated detail. Rather, it gives an unsatisfying three-page coverage of the physics or theory behind a topic, spending the rest of the chapter on plug-and-chug rules and recipes. It does a good job of the latter, but doesn't leave you with a much of a deeper feeling of understanding chemistry.

There were times when I felt the coverage was sufficiently deep, most often in purely organic topics. But coverage of topics like NMR coupling are treated as black magic, not discussed with the intention of the student understanding what's going on. Even a crash-course study guide I used covered quantum and physical chemistry topics like that in much greater detail. The metaphors given were also occasionally simple to the point of childishness, not promoting true understanding.

Anecdotally, the figures were often rater ugly. For example, organic molecules were often drawn with 90-degree angles and explicit C's and H's.

While I'm admittedly an undergrad with limited chemistry experience, I think this book is better for a typical organic chemistry course than for a student looking to truly, viscerally understand the topic.
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