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Book Review Terpenoids and Steroids. Vol. 1. Specialist Periodical Reports

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This is followed by “Dissociative Processes”. This section
deals with processes that follow the primary cleavage of a
carbon bond, i.e. reactions of carbenium ions, carbanions,
carbenes, and free radicals.
The third chapter surveys “Synchronous Reactions” in
substitutions and eliminations.
Electrocyclic and sigmatropic reactions and cycloadditions
are discussed in the fourth chapter, “Multicentre Reactions”.
The fifth and final chapter is headed “Associative Reactions” and contains reactions in which intermediates
having a new carbon bond are formed: electrophilic and
free-radical aromatic substitutions, electrophilic and freeradical additions to unsaturated systems, nucleophilic addition-elimination reactions to the carbonyl group, and
nucleophilic vinyl and nucleophilic aromatic substitutions.
There is n o doubt that the authors have succeeded in
making a representative and comprehensible selection
from the many articles on organic reaction mechanisms
published in recent years, so that the reader in particular
who does not work in this field will obtain a general picture.
Although it has not been entirely possible to avoid subjective evaluation, this must be attributed to the necessity
of limiting the subject matter.
The rapid development of mechanistic organic chemistry
and the new results that are continually being found in
this field present a problem in the production of an up-todate book of this nature. As an example, one might mention
the S,2 reaction, which perhaps would not nowadays be
assigned without comment to the chapter on “Synchronous
If one takes this into account, the book is an excellent
supplement to advanced instruction, particularly since
each chapter is provided with exercises, and the reader
whose interests go beyond the scope of the book is referred
to original articles and detailed reviews in 600 references,
most of which are recent, and which extend up to 1970.
All in all, “Mechanism in Organic Chemistry” will be
equally useful to students and to lecturers.
Gernot Boche
[NB 123 IE]
Organophosphorus Chemistry. Vol. 2. Specialist Periodical
Reports. Published by The Chemical Society, London
1971. 1st ed., xi, 292 pp., numerous figures, bound
f. 7.--.
For the second time a group of Anglo-Saxon specialists
under the expert direction of S. Trippett has undertaken
to present a survey of phosphorus literature published
between July 1969 and June 1970 to follow the first volume
in this series, which was published in 1970 and covered
the literature from the beginning of 1968 until June 1969.
As in Volume 1, the arrangement of the material in the
second volume is based mainly on the substance, though
mechanistic aspects are also considered.
S . Tripperf has once again acquired the services of eight
expert co-authors, who present a “snapshot” of the present
position of phosphorus chemistry based on the evaluation
of more than 1200 references.
The material discussed in the second volume is divided
into 11 chapters: Phosphines and Phosphonium Salts ( D .
J . H . Smith) ; Pentacovalent Phosphorus Compounds (S.
Trippert) : Halophosphines and Related Compounds ( J .
Angeuv. Chmm. inicrnur. Edit.
1 Vol. 12 (1973) ,! No. X
A . Miller); Phosphine Oxides ( J . A. Miller); Acids of
Trivalent Phosphorus and Derivatives ( B . J . Walker) ;
Acids of Pentavalent Phosphorus ( N . K . Hamer): Phosphates and Phosphonates of Biochemical Importance ( D .
W Hutchinson); Ylides and Related Compounds (S. Trippett) ; Phosphazenes ( R . K e a t ) : Photochemistry, Free
Radicals, and Deoxygenation Reactions ( R . S. Davidson);
Physical Methods ( J . C. Tebby).
If one overlooks a few inaccuracies and printing errors,
the second volume again gives a comprehensive survey
of the rich and varied harvest collected in the course
of only a year in the phosphorus field.
The importance of this periodical report to the national
and international specialist world cannot be valued highly
enough, since the standard work on phosphorus chemistry
(Kosolapofl: Organophosphorus Compounds) is probably
now in its last edition and there is already evidence of
a literature gap, which can no doubt be closed with the
aid of these “Periodical Reports”. However, the German
specialists, who tend to waste their time in endless meetings
in these days of democratization of academic life and
therefore frequently neglect the study of the specialist literature, are particularly grateful to their colleagues from a
land where democracy has stood the test of time for this
effective aid to coping with the literature.
LeopoLd Horner
[NB 128 IEJ
Terpenoids and Steroids. Vol. 1. Specialist Periodical
Reports. Published by The Chemical Society, London
1971. 1st ed., xi, 557 pp., numerous figures, bound
f. 11.-.
The present volume covers the literature between September 1969 and August 1970, but also extends further
back for important topics to provide a broader basis for
understanding. The material is divided up well: the terpenes
into monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes and triterpenes, and carotenoids (with polyterpenes) and biosynthesis of terpenes and steroids, and the steroids into properties and reactions and syntheses.
The material in such a report must of necessity be presented
very concisely, in view of its large volume (approx. 2400
references). The readability of the text is nevertheless still
good. Formulas and sections of text are clearly arranged.
Despite the understandable absence of a subject index,
therefore, any desired special topic can be quickly found.
The presentation by the various authors appears homogeneous and complete. The two steroid chapters overlap
in a few points. The number of errors is within reasonable
The report can be specially recommended to all those
working in the terpene or steroid fields. It puts one’s
own field in its place in the range of topics, provides
a check on one’s own reading of the original literature,
and extends one’s vision to neighboring fields that one
can no longer follow continuously. However, even chemists
who d o not specialize in terpenes or steroids will find
the book useful, as it presents a collective survey of the
publications of one year, and at the same time goes into
a certain amount of detail.
It is to be hoped that the further annual issues of the
report will be as compact, lucid, and reasonably priced
as the first.
Wolfgang Sucrow
[NB 139 IE]
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