© 2010

Organic Mechanisms

Reactions, Stereochemistry and Synthesis

  • Michael Harmata

About this book


“Much of life can be understood in rational terms if expressed in the language of chemistry. It is an international language, a language without dialects, a language for all time, a language that explains where we came from, what we are, and where the physical world will allow us to go. Chemical Language has great esthetic beauty and links the physical sciences to the b- logical sciences. ” from The Two Cultures: Chemistry and Biology by Arthur Kornberg (Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, 1959) Over the past two centuries, chemistry has evolved from a relatively pure disciplinary pursuit to a position of central importance in the physical and life sciences. More generally, it has p- vided the language and methodology that has unified, integrated and, indeed, molecularized the sciences, shaping our understanding of the molecular world and in so doing the direction, development and destiny of scientific research. The “language of chemistry” referred to by my former Stanford colleague is made up of atoms and bonds and their interactions. It is a s- tem of knowledge that allows us to understand structure and events at a molecular level and increasingly to use that understanding to create new knowledge and beneficial change. The words on this page, for example, are detected by the eye in a series of events, now generally understood at the molecular level.


Cycloaddition Electrophilic addition Nucleophilic substitution Rearrangement mechanisms organic chemistry reactions synthesis textbook

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Organische Chemie und BiochemieAlbert-Ludwigs-Universität FreiburgFreiburg

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Harmata
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
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From the reviews:

"The new edition of the textbook of R. Bruckner is accurate, all important modern mechanistic and synthetic concepts of organic chemistry are presented in a very didactic fashion, a superb book to put in the hands of all who would want to learn synthetic organic chemistry or refresh their knowledge."
Paul Knochel, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

 "Over its three editions, Professor Bruckner has significantly fine-tuned his outstanding textbook titled ‘Organic Mechanisms’, now available in English.  This text is aimed squarely at students that have completed a typical one-year introductory course in organic chemistry and now wish to continue refining their understanding of the subject.  At this level, the text is appropriately focused on providing the reader with an enhanced fundamental understanding of an ambitious range of organic reactions. Along with reminding the reader about fundamental principles necessary to understand the topic, Bruckner’s updated edition also provides a solid physical organic perspective on a wide range of processes.  The text is not meant to be an exhaustive survey of reactions, but more of a sound introduction to the underlying principles that control reactivity in variety of transformations that chemistry students should be familiar with. The book, therefore, is particularly well suited for “intermediate” and “advanced” classes in organic chemistry, usually found in upper class electives and introductory graduate classes. The book will also serve as a valuable starting point for the more experienced chemist wishing to brush-up on organic transformations that they might be less familiar with.”
Marc L. Snapper, Boston College

This updated version of Professor Brückner’s ‘Organic Mechanisms’ provides a thorough overview of modern organic synthesis that is both comprehensive and accessible to chemists with all levels of experience. Detailed reaction mechanisms are illustrated with clear schemes that effectively convey the electronic and structural principles influencing reactivity and selectivity for the most common transformations used in organic synthesis. The pragmatic division of the material into introductory and more advanced sections enables the text to be used both as a teaching resource for both undergraduate chemistry students and researchers from allied disciplines and as a valuable text for experienced researchers. The book prompts the reader to readily grasp important concepts, while providing ample scope for extension and development of more advanced students of organic chemistry. ‘Organic Mechanisms’ is also a valuable resource for those involved in the application and practice of organic synthesis on a professional level. The range of topics discussed provides an up-to-date compendium of current methods, of relevance to both academia and industry, with the references at the end of each chapter providing a useful starting point for more detailed further reading. Overall, the new English edition of ‘Organic Mechanisms’ is an excellent single reference for those wishing to learn or better understand the complex practice of modern synthetic organic chemistry. It is long overdue and I look forward to having a copy readily available for my students.
Margaret Brimble, The University of Auckland

Having held in high regard the 1st English edition of Bruckner´s textbook Organic Reaction Mechanisms I have been waiting for years for an updated version to appear. This long-expected textbook is now available. It has been completely revised and considerably expanded and is a meticulously composed treatise at the interface between synthetic organic chemistry and mechanistic analysis. Every student of advanced organic chemistry will benefit from this book."
Koichi Narasaka, Nayang Technical University, Singapore.

“This English edition of the German textbook by Bruckner … is an excellent resource for advanced academic students. … The presentation is impressive, and clear illustrations appear throughout the book. … This makes the work a very interesting read and offers abundant opportunities for students to create new problem sets. … For graduate students and instructors, this work offers a wealth of information. The end-of-chapter references are comprehensive and thorough. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers/faculty, and professionals.” (S. Rajaraman, Choice, Vol. 48 (3), November, 2010)