Anslyn and Dougherty: Introduction and Allegro

Well, I’ve been through the first chapter (all 61 pages) and it’s first rate — well written, engaging and informal.     I plan to do a series of posts as I go through the book (just as I did with Clayden), with questions possible errors etc. etc.  I’d definitely like help from the readership for possible mistakes.  The authors correct known errors with each new printing (now up to 4).  I have the 2nd printing, and I’m damned if I’m going to lay out $118.74 on Amazon for a second copy of the book.  See for a rant about chemical textbook errata and the lack of web pages for them.

There is a Student Solutions Manual for it, by someone else (who worked with Dougherty).  Any opinions out there about how good it is?  Is it worth the(new)  $47.74 on Amazon?  I’ve not tried any of the problems yet.

I plan to reread the first chapter and have specific comments and questions, but here are a few generalities.

p. xxii — “Some would argue that the last century also saw the near death of the field” .  My friend, Tom Lowry (Mechanism and Theory in Organic Chemistry) told me (this century) that he thought the field had died.

p. 4 “Most of this material should be familiar to you” — not to this boy.  Molecular orbitals were just coming in in 60 – 62.  Lionel Salem was a post-doc (or something) when I was a grad student.

p. 5  “the ability of an electron to feel the trajectory of another electron”.  Certainly informal, but do electrons really have feelings?  There’s a strong argument, that they don’t even have trajectories — if they did, how would they get past a node (zero probability of finding them there) in a 2 p orbital.

pp. 59 – 61 — Pictures of d orbitals.  Hosanna ! “One theme of this textbook is to consistently tie organic chemistry to organometallic chemistry”  Hosanna again ! ! Clayden was valiant in their attempt to give a glimpse of the field, but the d orbital view and the bonding patterns was sketchy at best.  Certainly looking forward to enlightenment on this score.

Next up “Why Pre-Meds Hate Organic Chemistry before they even begin the course”

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