Organic Certified!, December 28, 2001
L.G. "Skip" Wade has done an exceptional job at writing a textbook in probably the most merciless field of human endeavor. First, the physical aspect of the book is worth noting; the illustration is pleasant yet remain faithful to the scientific accuracy it wishes to convey. The glossy paper is sturdy, preventing the frequent mishaps of tear and wear so common to the undergraduate life.
Wade does not condescend as an author (a particular attribute that probably increases the likeability of an author/professor) ; he matter-of-factly admits to having made a "C" on his second organic test, a testament to the difficulty of the subject. He acknowledges the difficulty of organic chemistry, he concurs to the fact that memorization is indeed required, yet he offers the comforting assurance that organic chemistry is indeed the logical subject it has always been touted to be, as evidenced by the structured organization of the book.
The book begins with a review of general chemistry (Lewis structure, acids and bases, molecular orbitals, and the like) and sets to introduce briefly the electron-pushing principle so fundamental to organic chemistry. Alkane is covered next, introducing the concept of conformational analysis, polarity, intermolecular forces, and general introduction the other functional groups. The next chapter is on the study of chemical reactions, followed by stereochemistry (perhaps the hardest chapter). Maybe it is safe to suggest that the most logical part (fundamental principles) of organic chemistry resides in these first five chapters, while the dreadful memorization will soon ensue.
Chapter 6 onwards introduces the major functional groups (alkyl halides, alkene, alcohols, alkynes), where the general trend is to present the nomenclature, the uses, the synthesis, and the mechanism; in that order. Accompanying summary of informations so essential to the "memorization" is found at the end of every chapter.The underlying principles common to all field of organic chemistry are exemplified in the illustrative reactions of the functional groups.
Spectroscopy are introduced in Chapters 12 and 13, and the chapters following them are devoted to introduce the remaining major functional groups with knowledge of spectroscopy already presented. Chapters 23, 24, and 25 discuss the organic compounds of particular interest to the biologically-orientated, while Chapter 26 concludes the book with a survey of synthetic polymer.
The most striking characterictics of the book are probably its problem solving hints, problem-solving strategies and essential problem-solving skills boxes. It almost seemed as though Wade was right in front of you showing you where to push that lazy electrons; patient and reminding. The solved problems are also very illustrative. An accompanying solution manual should perfectly complement your journey into the wonderful world of organic chemistry!
Rating: 3.6 | Added on: 9 Aug 2007
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