Classics in stereoselective synthesis

Classics in stereoselective synthesis

E M Carreira, L Kvaerno

Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH 2008 | 632pp | ?60 (SB)

ISBN 9783527299669

Reviewed by Thomas Wirth


As a continuation of the Classics  series started by K C Nicolaou et al   with Classics in total synthesis   and H Hopf with Classics in hydrocarbon chemistry  , the authors E M Carreira and L Kvaerno have undertaken the massive task of summarising past achievements in stereoselective synthesis in another Classics  book. 

They have included all major developments in this area and have distilled the old and recent literature into 630 highly concentrated pages. During the concentration process, the contents of 18 independent chapters were carefully selected by the authors, grouping together mostly functional group transformations towards the creation of stereogenic centres. 

Latest drops of the distillate go as far as early 2008, according to the very comprehensive reference sections.

The coherent appearance of all illustrations, multiple insertions of important concepts in boxes separate from the main text as well as many enlightening citations from prominent chemists and classic papers make this book unique and very enjoyable to read. Instructive examples from total syntheses highlight various strategies and the focus on previously hidden examples in a broad context provides a wide perspective to the reader.

Achievements in stereoselective synthesis have to be recognised with respect to available analytical techniques, but such an inclusion would probably have been beyond the limits of this book.

The reader should already have some basic knowledge of the subject area to gain maximum profit from reading this book. Advanced students as well as industrialists and academics will surely benefit from this book, which is more than a traditional textbook and more than just a compilation of reviews. It will surely serve as an up to date entry into primary literature and as a highly enriched source of inspiration.