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The Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms [Hardcover]

Robert B. Grossman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 7, 2008 0387954686 978-0387954684 2nd

Intended for students of intermediate organic chemistry, this text shows how to write a reasonable mechanism for an organic chemical transformation. The discussion is organized by types of mechanisms and the conditions under which the reaction is executed, rather than by the overall reaction as is the case in most textbooks. Each chapter discusses common mechanistic pathways and suggests practical tips for drawing them. Worked problems are included in the discussion of each mechanism, and "common error alerts" are scattered throughout the text to warn readers about pitfalls and misconceptions that bedevil students. Each chapter is capped by a large problem set.


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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews of the second edition:

"… Grossman’s book differs from others in the scale of the worked examples. The number of problems incorporated into the text is extraordinary. The author provides the student a Web site that includes the detailed mechanisms for every problem in the book, each of which includes explanation and commentary, and the answer set, when printed, exceeds 250 pages! . . . In style, The Art of… is unique in that it does not read like a typical textbook. Instead, the feel is like that of having a personal tutor next to you walking you through the chemistry in a step-by-step fashion. The writing is clear, concise, engaging, and, at times, outright entertaining. The lively style includes "Common Error Alerts" that teach students what not to do and includes tips and advice on how to solve problems . . . The highest compliment a reviewer can give is to adopt the text that he reviews. The next advanced course I teach will use The Art of Writing Reasonable Reaction Mechanisms with the goal that students will be able to posit a plausible mechanism for any new reaction that they encounter. To those of you who have taught traditional physical organic chemistry out of the classic texts, I ask you to consider trying something, well… completely different. The Art of Writing Reasonable Reaction Mechanisms might just change the way you do things."

-Journal of Chemical Education

"The Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms has an entirely different scope, dedicated to teaching the application of first principles to the construction of organic mechanisms. … The number of problems incorporated into the text is extraordinary. The author provides the student a Web site that includes the detailed mechanisms for every problem in the book … . The writing is clear, concise, engaging and, at times, outright entertaining. … All sections are expertly written, well organized and up-to-date." (R. W. Holman, Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 80 (11), 2003)

"In principle, most mechanisms are derived from a basis set of fundamental steps. … Grossman has succeeded in explaining these fundamentals in detail in an easily accessible monograph. … Readers can reinforce their incipient skills with practical illustrations, and are challenged throughout with complicated examples. … the present text offers additional lucid explanations and ideal opportunities for practice. This work will thus be indispensable for students who are interested in mechanisms, or who wish to gain an additional perspective." (www.organische-chemie.ch, July, 2004)

"This text shows how to write a reasonable mechanism for an organic chemical transformation. … It can be used either in a formal course or by students working on their own, and will be particularly useful for graduate students studying for qualifying examinations. It will also be useful to students and researchers in biochemistry, pharmacology, and inorganic chemistry." (Chimie Nouvelle, Vol. 84 (21), 2003)

"Robert Grossman in his book attempts to familiarize the student with the awesome power of reaction mechanisms … . What makes this book special and praise-worthy is the clarity of its presentation of the subject matter. The text is lucid and sharp-edged throughout. The production quality of the book is first-class, too. Paper, printing and binding are excellent, the reproduction of the numerous formulae and reaction schemes is outstanding. … Full marks for this ‘survival guide’ to the ‘organic jungle’." (T. Lazar, Synthesis, Issue 17, 2003)

"The book entitled ‘The Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms’ … shows how to write a reasonable mechanism for an organic chemical transformation. The discussion is organized by types of mechanisms and the conditions under which the reaction is executed, rather than by the overall reaction as is the case in most textbooks. … Each chapter is capped by a large problem set. … The book will be useful to students and researchers in intermediate organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, and inorganic chemistry." (Process - Magazin für Chemietechnik, Vol. 6 (3), 2003)

"Robert Grossman discusses ideas on organic chemical reactivity, selectivity and structure in a logical way that gives the student confidence in attempting the many practice problems provided. … This book provides a snapshot of examples of how to consider and approach the writing of simple and sophisticated examples of pushing electrons in and out of orbitals. Students will enormously benefit from using the principles and concepts in this book in writing their own mechanisms." (Helmut Hügel, Chemistry in Australia, 2003) 


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2nd edition (April 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387954686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387954684
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn, not just memorize! July 22, 2001
By AML
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The reason this book is good is because it will help you actually learn how to do organic chemistry instead of just memorizing reactions and their mechanisms. This book answers "WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?". A very important book for the graduate student in organic chemistry.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An A+ Guide to Organic Mechanism October 12, 2000
Format:Hardcover
Organic chemistry is rapidly-expanding field. New reactions pop out every day in research. How do you manage to secure the skills in writing and understanding these organic mechanisms? Many students try very heard to memorize reaction patterns yet unfortunately not able to master the concepts in mechanisms.
This book is meant to fill this gap. It introduces to ligoic behind the organic reaction mechanisms. By looking at nucleophilic or electrophilic species, kinetic suggestions, lone pairs, possible synthons and leaving groups, disconnection approach, students are exposed in a wide-range of reactions. The goal of the book is to enable students to write correct and logical mechanisms for reactions that are not seen before.
This book should accompany any undergraduate organic text and/or serves alone as a text for advanced course. Highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Every organic-chemistry graduate student will want this book when studying for cumes (cumulative exams). It doesn't seem appropriate as a textbook, but provides a wealth of information to help students develop their mechanistic problem-solving skills. As a professor at a research university, I have recommended it to all the members of my group.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for 1st year grad students January 27, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book was extremely helpful in studying for my PhD qualifier. I would suggest it to any first year (or later) grad student. One warning, though: this book has NO references!! I hope you never want to do any of these reactions in the lab... The lack of refs is the only thing keeping it to four stars instead of five.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This and Weeks book turned me into an organic chemist February 9, 2000
Format:Hardcover
I came to graduate school highly focused on analytical and physical chemistry (I had been an analytical chemist in industry). My background in organic was fair at best. I was taught by Dr. Grossman from this book. While it took a good bit of work, I got a B in his class. Moreover, I continued to refer to his book long after the course was over. It helped me pass my final cumulative exam, and I still refer to it. I found it helpful in a organometallic course (in which, incidentally, I got an A, thanks in no small part to Dr. Grossman's book.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Physical Organic Class! December 15, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I am a first year graduate student at UCDavis currently enrolled in the Ph.D program in theoretical organic chemistry.
I had always felt comfortable with reaction mechanisms in my undergraduate coursework, however upon entry into the graduate program at UCDavis, I felt immediately over my head! I felt light years behind my expected level of mastery, and in searching for help to stay afloat, this book was recommended to me by my research director.

I found it to be exceedingly helpful, as it starts at the very basics and works it's way to the extremely complicated by focusing on rational behind organic mechanisms rather than on simply memorizing trends.

With great examples, and tons of practice problems (with the solutions available online for free!) Dr. Grossman's writing is lucid and clear, while not waisting time on filler material, this relatively short book (by text standards!) provides a very clear and very in depth analysis of the various mechanism types as well as commonly seen organic activity.

With the help of this well organized and clear book, I was able to overcome my feelings of being behind the curve and came to a very noticeable improvement on my ability to solve complex mechanisms from current publications that I had little to no experience with. After finishing this book I am confident in my abilities to elucidate reasonable mechanisms for chemistry's most complicated (current and past) reactions. This has culminated not only in an A in my class, but has given me an invaluable reference for my research.

Also available is an interactive version of the practice problems with step by step hints and feedback, available through Dr. Grossman's site for a small fee.

Dr.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on Mechanisms November 4, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to practice mechanisms because I'll be taking a physical organic class in the spring that uses them heavily. I used this book instead of sitting in on a sophomore organic class, because by job as a TA conflicted.

Anyway, this book is extraordinary. Dr. Grossman has taught me so many things about how to write a correct mechanism and how to recognize a bad mechanism when I see one. The book is written in a very clear and friendly manner and it's really quite hard to put down when you start reading it.

The book also has practice problems and the book's website has the answers, giving even more incentive to practice mechanisms.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific July 5, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is not the first of its kind. Audrey Miller wrote the first one-"Writing Reaction Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry". Miller used a renovating approch to treat organic reaction mechanisms. Mechanisms are not a bunch of random knowledges to be memorized any more. They can be analyzed and mastered.
However Grossman did a terrific job writing this book. It covers more material than Miller's. Both books are easy to read. Keys to answers of this book can be downloaded from internet(over 200 pages).
This book is great for graduate student who's struggling on his/her cumes, for industrial organic chemist who wants to have a thorough review of organic mechanism. Great value for the money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Text is one of a kind insofar as it enable ...
Text is one of a kind insofar as it enable students to actually become proficient at writing reasonable organic reaction mechanisms of all kinds.
Published 2 months ago by Felipe
5.0 out of 5 stars Textbook for 1st year grad school mechanisms course
A well written (and humorous) book with a great selection of problems at the end of each chapter. The chapters were not only fun to read but the information was concisely written... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Meg
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT book!
Book was as described by the seller--BRAND NEW! Shipping was very quick, the transaction went by incredibly easily. Read more
Published 23 months ago by AMF
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, not for the beginner
I picked this book up between first and second semester organic chemistry. I was able to get through some of it, but it is too complex for someone who has not taken both semesters... Read more
Published on November 7, 2011 by Christopher Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for chemistry students
Very detailed, very "friendly to the user", full of examples. A well-builded sequence of scientific thought and logic. Read more
Published on September 26, 2010 by Natasha Varvogli
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition
This book was in great condition as advertised. It also arrived in the time stated.
Published on July 21, 2010 by Peace and Chemistry
5.0 out of 5 stars March for the less talented
This is a very well written book - I mean one that you can read like a novel. In that respect it is probably the best (if not the only) book on the market. Read more
Published on April 23, 2010 by Pen name
5.0 out of 5 stars You might want to beware of phony books.
I bought the cheapest possible copy of this book from Amazon. When I got it, it didn't quite look right. Read more
Published on August 31, 2009 by Chemistry Scholar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value and great information.
Mechanism is the heart of chemical transformation, and this book is one of the best compilations of the "rules" of electron flow in organic reactions. Read more
Published on February 21, 2009 by M. Sanderon
5.0 out of 5 stars exellent course guide
This book is excellent guide for predicting organic reactions
It wihelp us to learn a lot of chemical reaction mechanisms and their prediction.Problems are brainstorming
Published on October 13, 2008 by Harinath G. Muvvala
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