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Modern Carbonyl Olefination. Methods and Applications. Edited by Takeshi Takeda

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Books
eral, their importance, many of their
prominent features, their experimental
preparation and analysis, and above all
their theoretical treatment. Thus, cluster
dynamics is only one of several main
topics in this book on clusters, another
one being metal clusters.
The breadth of presentation in this
book is impressive. It is difficult to find
a question of theoretical or experimental cluster research that is not treated
at least briefly somewhere within it.
The book covers everything from first
principles to current research, and elegantly combines theoretical and experimental aspects. Accordingly, the authors
aim their work at a broad readership,
ranging from advanced undergraduates
to cluster researchers. The general structure of the book, as well as its contents
list and index, are good aids in accessing
the text.
As the authors admit in the preface,
the depth of presentation is not a match
for its breadth, since the text covers only
250 pages (plus 50 pages of appendices).
Nevertheless, for many of the topics
treated, the authors manage to provide
the essentials in a nutshell, so that even
beginners will find the treatment accessible. Sometimes, however, the presentation is too terse, and provides only a
few glimpses of central ideas and
research trends. In these cases, the readers have to turn to the literature, to
which at least a few leads are always
given.
For the personal taste of this
reviewer, a certain imbalance is created:
in the introductory chapters, several
very basic topics (the aufbau principle,
the periodic system of the elements,
the different types of chemical bonding,
etc.) are explained in such length and
detail as if this were a fundamental textbook on molecular physics or theoretical chemistry. Appendix B even contains
a complete table of ground-state electronic configurations of the first 102 elements of the periodic system. In later
chapters, considerably more difficult
topics are presented in a much shorter
form, even some that belong to the central focus of this book (such as the
TDLDA, Vlasov–LDA, or VUU methods as main tools for a theoretical treatment of cluster dynamics). Consequently, the authors neither completely
reach the beginners, for whom a more
3100
comprehensive treatment in a normal
textbook would be more appropriate,
nor the advanced students, who have to
turn to the literature on many occasions.
This reviewer would have preferred to
declare those topics that have already
been treated in many excellent textbooks of physics and chemistry as prerequisites, and to devote all these
pages instead to a more detailed treatment of advanced topics central to this
book.
Apart from this imbalance, the book
can be recommended for all beginners
and researchers in the world of clusters
and their dynamics, as an excellent combination of smooth entry and broad
overview.
Bernd Hartke
Institut fr Physikalische Chemie
Universitt Kiel (Germany)
Modern Carbonyl Olefination
Methods and
Applications.
Edited by Takeshi
Takeda. Wiley-VCH,
Weinheim 2004.
349 pp., hardcover
E 139.00.—ISBN
3-527-30634-X
This book edited by Takeshi Takeda
contains articles by 14 authors (one of
whom is from industry). As the first
thorough survey of recent results in the
intensively studied area of carbonyl olefination, it fills a definite gap in the
market. However, I would have preferred the presentation of the subject to
be more systematic in some respects.
Thus, the introduction to the book fails
to give a definition of the reaction and
its boundary conditions, nor does it
mention earlier work, for example on
methylenation. That is all the more surprising after reading the editor's comment in the preface that carbonyl olefination is “one of the most fundamental
6 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
www.angewandte.org
transformations in organic synthesis”,
whereas, for example, the olefination
of formaldehyde using propionaldehyde
(yielding methylacrolein in the BASF
methyl methacrylate process) is not
mentioned at all.
Leaving that criticism aside, the
book can certainly be recommended in
view of the excellent and concisely written presentations of the various aspects
of the subject. One important aspect
concerns the work of Wittig and the
transformation of carbonyl compounds
using phosphonium ylides or other cosubstrates. The reactions using phosphonates (known as the Horner–Emmons,
Horner–Wadsworth–Emmons,
or
Wittig–Wadsworth–Emmons reaction),
using phosphane oxides (Horner–
Wittig), or even the Schlosser variant,
are still associated with the name of
Wittig, despite the fact that many different names and combinations of names
appear in the literature and leave the
nonspecialist confused.
All the modern variants of carbonyl
olefination reactions are discussed,
including the Peterson reaction (the
transformation of carbonyl compounds
using a-silyl carbanions, the Juli; reaction (using sulfones), the McMurry reaction (reductive coupling using lowvalent titanium compounds), and also
the mechanistically related carbonyl
olefinations using metal carbenes or
those using zinc or chromium reagents
(such as the Nysted or Lombardo
reagents). Thus, with all these topics
and the last chapter on asymmetric carbonyl olefinations, we have for the first
time a clear guide through this confusing
array of named variants and modifications.
All the chapters provide thorough
and detailed information and are adequately illustrated by structural formulas and schemes. However, despite the
editor's emphasis on the practical
importance of the subject (“…most fundamental transformations…”), there are
hardly any descriptions of industrial
applications, and therefore the book is
more suitable for laboratory chemists
than for those concerned with industrial
processes.
Users of the book will need their
strongest reading glasses, because of
the change in typography introduced
by Wiley-VCH. One's reaction to the
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 3099 – 3101
Angewandte
Chemie
new (and less easily readable) typeface
depends on personal taste. I think of
the many generations of printers since
the late Gutenberg, who took such
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 3099 – 3101
great care over the legibility and recognizability of the different levels of headings and sub-headings.
Boy Cornils
Hofheim/Taunus (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200385149
www.angewandte.org
6 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
3101
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