The Chemical Educator, Vol. 8, No.6, Media Reviews, © 2003 The Chemical Educator


Media Review

Nobel Lectures Including Presentation Speeches and Laureates’ Biographies Chemistry 1991–1995. Bo G. Malmström, Editor. World Scientific Publishing: Singapore, 1997. ix + 296 pp, hardcover, 17.0 ´ 25.5 cm. $51.00; £32.00. ISBN 981-02-2679-9; paperbound. $25.00; £16.00. ISBN 981-02-2680-2.

Nobel Lectures Including Presentation Speeches and Laureates’ Biographies Chemistry 1996–2000. Ingmar Grenthe, Editor. World Scientific Publishing: Singapore, 2003. x + 462 pp, hardcover, 17.0 ´ 25.5 cm. $52.00; £35.00. ISBN 981-02-4958-6; paperbound. $26.00; £18.00. ISBN 981-02-4959-4.

Nobel Lectures Including Presentation Speeches and Laureates’ Biographies Chemistry 1901–1995. Ingmar Grenthe, Editor. One CD-ROM. World Scientific Publishing: Singapore, 1999. $100.00; £69.00. ISBN 981-02-3571-2.

For USA and Canada order these items from World Scientific PublishingCo., Inc., 1060 Main St., River Edge, NJ 07661, USA; for UK and Europe order fromWorld Scientific Publishing (UK) Ltd., 57 Shelton St., Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HE, England; for Asia and the rest of the world order from World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte Ltd, P.O. Box 128, Farrer Road, Singapore 912805. Orders may also be placed online at .html.

Since the inception of the Nobel Prizes in 1901, the Nobel Foundation has annually published “Les Prix Nobel” with reports from the award ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo plus the presentation speeches, Nobel lectures, laureates’ biographies, and autographed portraits. The Foundation also granted the Elsevier Publishing Company the exclusive right to publish in English these materials for 1901–1970 in separate volumes, which appeared in 1964–1972 as follows: Chemistry (Vols. 1–4), Physics (Vols. 1–4), Physiology or Medicine (Vols. 1–4), and Peace (Vols. 1–3). Literature for the years 1901–1967 appeared in one volume. Thereafter, and until 2000, the Foundation has given World Scientific Publishing, a leading international publisher in medicine, science, and technology, the exclusive right to update the series and publish the materials for the Economics Prize from its inception in the year 1969. World Scientific is the cofounder of Imperial College Press, a joint venture between Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (London) and World Scientific.

World Scientific published two decennial volumes for Chemistry: 1971–1980 (Vol. 5, Tore Frängsmyr, Editor-in-Charge; Sture Forsén, Editor; 1993) and 1981–1990 (Vol. 6, Tore Frängsmyr, Editor-in-Charge; Bo G. Malmström, Editor; 1992). Now the volumes are appearing for lustra (5-year periods). The presentation speeches, given by a spokesperson appointed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, introduce the laureate and his or her work to a general audience and place it in a broad context, while in the lectures some of the 20th-century’s foremost chemical investigators describe in more technical detail their prize-winning breakthroughs. Any errors in the lectures have been corrected in consultation with the laureates, who have also been given the opportunity to update their biographies. Some of the lists of references have also been updated. The updates are given as errata at the end of the lectures. Since William H. Stein (1972 prize), most of the biographies have been written by the laureates themselves in the first person, which lends a personal, more human immediacy to their stories. Some of the illustrations are in color. In addition to the usual autographed portrait, Alan G. MacDiarmid’s biographical sketch includes nine photographs of him and family members.

The first printed volume contains data for the following chemistry prizes—1991: Richard R. Ernst, “for his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy;” 1992: Rudolph A. Marcus, “for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems;” 1993: Kary B. Mullis, “for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method” and Michael Smith, “for his fundamental contributions to the establishment of oligonucleotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis and its development for protein studies;” 1994: George A. Olah, “for his contributions to carbocation chemistry;” 1995: Paul Crutzen, Mario Molina, and F. Sherwood Rowland, “for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone.”

The second printed volume contains data for the following chemistry prizes—1996: Robert F. Curl, Jr., Harold W. Kroto, and Richard E. Smalley, “for their discovery of fullerenes;” 1997: Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker, “for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)” and Jens C. Skou, “for the first discovery of an ion-transporting enzyme, Na+, K+–ATPase;” 1998: Walter Kohn, “for his development of the density-functional theory” and John A. Pople, “for his development of computational methods in quantum chemistry;” 1999: Ahmed H. Zewail, “for his studies of the transition states of chemical reactions using femtosecond spectroscopy;” 2000: Alan J. Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid, and Hideki Shirakawa, “for the discovery and development of conductive polymers.”

The system requirements for the CD-ROM, a standard ISO-9660 disc, are Adobe Acrobat Reader, the latest versions of which, with search for a number of platforms, are also included on the disc. Windows and Macintosh viewers with Apple QuickTime 2.0 or later can play the introductory movie. In the “Image” directory the disc also contains PDF files of the images of the text, which can be printed out if desired.

These books and the CD-ROM disc are valuable sources of information and inspiration for chemistry students, chemists, historians of science, and anyone interested in chemistry. Of course, they belong in every library. For various printed volumes and CD-ROMs for the prizes in the six Nobel fields as well as CD-ROMs for all the fields together visit the World Scientific Web site.

George B. Kauffman

California State University, Fresno,

S1430-4171(04)01762-X, 10.1333/s00897040762a

Candid Science III: More Conversations with Famous Chemists. By István Hargittai; edited by Magdolna Hargittai. Imperial College Press: London, England, 2003; distributed by

The 36 portraits on the book cover appear in the order of their profiles in the book.

World Scientific Publishing Co.: Singapore; River Edge, NJ; London, England. Illustrations. x + 507 pp, hardbound, 16.5 ´ 24.6 cm. $78.00; £48. ISBN 1-86094-336-5; paperback. $34.00; £21. ISBN 1-86094-337-3.

As Contributing Editor of the History feature of The Chemical Intelligencer, Springer-Verlag’s popular but unfortunately short-lived quarterly magazine for the culture of chemistry and related sciences, I have a personal as well as professional interest in István Hargittai’s series of collections of interviews, vignettes, and quotations of famous scientists.

During his six-year tenure (24 issues, 1995–2000) as Editor-in-Chief of The Chemical Intelligencer, Hargittai, sometimes with his wife Magdi, interviewed more than 120 eminent scientists, more than half of whom were Nobel laureates. A number of these interviews did not reach the pages of the magazine, and I hoped that these, along with the many that were published in The Chemical Intelligencer and, beginning with 2001, in Chemical Heritage: Newsmagazine of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, could appear in print in a handier and more permanent form. The first two volumes of the critically acclaimed book series Candid Science (edited by Magdolna Hargittai), subtitled Conversations with Famous Chemists and Conversations with Famous Biomedical Scientists, appeared in 2000 (Kauffman, G. B.; Kauffman, L. M. Chem. Educator 2002, 7, 184–186; DOI 10.1333/s00897020570a) and 2002 (Kauffman, G. B. Chem. Educator 2003, 8, 90–93; DOI 10.1333/s00897030663a), respectively. The third volume, subtitled, More Conversations with Famous Chemists, which contains interviews with three-dozen scientists (almost all chemists except for an ophthalmologist, meteorologist, and historian of science), 18 of whom (one-half) are Nobel laureates, has now been published, and it should be followed later this year by the fourth volume, subtitled Conversations with Famous Physicists. Furthermore, according to Hargittai, “a fifth volume now seems to be emerging as well”(p viii).

Hargittai, who has clearly done his homework in preparing for the interviews, seeks to uncover the stories behind the most important achievements in twentieth-century chemistry directly from some of their most distinguished participants. They tell us about their backgrounds; families (many were raised in poor circumstances); lives, both personal and professional; childhoods (Like me or others of my generation, some had chemistry sets, grew crystals [Like me, Neil Bartlett grew beautiful, purple crystals of [Cu(NH3)4]2+ salts, which I still have after 55 years], or were inspired by Paul de Kruif’s Microbe Hunters or other books); influences and career choices; motivations; aspirations; heroes (scientific or otherwise); mentors; selection of co-workers (Paul von Ragué Schleyer and Donald J. Cram); hardships and triumphs; modus operandi (“The sort of work I do, the way I work—I’m very much a loner”—Neil Bartlett, p 42); philosophies; hobbies and nonscientific interests (several are accomplished musicians; Bill Lipscomb is a performing clarinetist, and Manfred Eigen is a pianist who has performed with famous orchestras and conductors. According to Donald J. Cram, “I prize the lack of attention. I surf on a beach where all kinds of people surf” [p 188]); current nonscientific reading; compounds that they would like to prepare but never succeeded in making (for example, AuF6—Neil Bartlett, p 47); and, of course, their seminal discoveries.

In most cases their human feelings shine through their words. Nobel laureates describe how the prize affected their lives, research, and careers. Most are modest and admit the role of luck in their good fortune. According to Bruce Merrifield, his Nobel-winning method for chemical synthesis on a solid matrix “…. is a simple idea. You can say it all in one sentence” (p 211).

Hargittai is not an investigative reporter but a fellow scientist who never tries to deal with topics with which the conversations seem uncomfortable. He tactfully asks them to ignore questions they do not want to discuss. In return, they are often candid and frank in their responses to questions that he does ask. Therefore the titles of the books in this series are most appropriate, as are their subtitles. Their contents are more like candid, informal conversations rather than formal interviews. In reply to Hargittai’s serious questions a number of the interviewees answer with humor. I can personally attest to Hargittai’s masterly interviewing talent. During the 1990s, Donald Cram visited our campus, and I unsuccessfully tried to interview him; we were just unable to establish any rapport. Yet Hargittai’s interview with Cram is one of the most revealing, most extensive, and, to me, most interesting of all those in the book.

Most of the scientific subjects are discussed either by their originators or most-prominent authorities. They include, among others, the discovery of new elements and compounds (for example, the synthesis and naming of element 106—seaborgium: Glenn T. Seaborg; the synthesis of the first noble gas compound—Xe+[PtF6]—and the events leading up to its discovery: Neil Bartlett); the Manhattan Project and the nuclear bomb: Lawrence S. Bartell; the fullerenes; DNA: Jacquelin K. Barton; the chemical uniqueness of life; the valence-shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) model: Ron Gillespie and Neil Bartlett; superacids: Ron Gillespie; surface science: Lawrence S. Bartell; computational chemistry: Paul von Ragué Schleyer; combinatorial chemistry: Árpád Furka, Bruce Merrifield, and others; organic synthesis (for example, the total synthesis of vitamin B12: Albert Eschenmoser); natural products; polysaccharides; host-and-guest chemistry: Donald J. Cram; supramolecular chemistry: Jean-Marie Lehn; peptide synthesis: Bruce Merrifield; X-ray crystallography: adenosine triphophate (ATP): Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker; X-ray crystallography: Herbert A. Hauptman, Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber, and Hartmut Michel; plant biochemistry: Guy Ourisson; 18O exchange reactions: Mildred Cohn; solid-state reactions: Jack D. Dunitz; reaction dynamics and molecular structure: John C. Polanyi and Dudley R. Herschbach; electron transfer in small and large systems: Henry Taube and Rudolph A. Marcus; non-equilibrium systems: Ilya Prigogine; oscillating systems: Anatol M. Zhabotinsky; laser chemistry: Richard N. Zare; atmospheric chemistry: Paul J. Crutzen; chirality: Reiko Kuroda; and the history of chemistry: Steven Mason.

Among related topics we find discussions of government and public service, gender bias and feminism, Nobel politics, research planning, the Great Depression, serendipity, discovery and patenting of discoveries (some do, and some don’t), teaching, administration, entrepreneurship, war research, religious beliefs, history of science, aging, authorship of articles, the scientific establishment, experiment versus theory, science and nationalism, the public image of chemistry, the role of imagination in science and the arts, chemistry and art collecting, science and society, rejection or withdrawal of articles, compulsory retirement and its effect on their work, work in progress, predictions of future trends, their legacy, and advice to young people.

The earliest-born chemist is 1951 Nobel chemistry laureate Glenn T. Seaborg (b. 1912), and the youngest interviewee is Dutch-born NIH chemist Ad Bax (b. 1956), by far the most cited chemist today with 21,655 citations over the period 1981–1997 according to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Versatility is a prominent characteristic among many of the interviewees, a number of whom have switched areas several times in the course of their careers, for example:

Once when you asked me why I jumped around from field to field to field in my research I tried to explain that it was not so much jumping as evolving.—Lawrence S. Bartell (p 73);

To retain my fascination with chemistry, I have had to change my research fields about every 10 years.—Donald J. Cram (p 192).

Several scientists discuss their differences with other scientists and competitors. On the whole, however, most are well acquainted with each other and are mutually supportive, and their names crop up frequently in each other’s interviews. Some offer suggestions as to Nobel-caliber scientists whose candidacy was overlooked, either because of the three-person rule for sharing a prize or for other reasons, for example, William Lipscomb and Steven Mason for G. N. Lewis, Steven Mason for J. Willard Gibbs, Lawrence S. Bartell for Kasimir Fajans, Donald J. Cram for Saul Winstein, and Bruce Merrifield for Oswald T. Avery, Maclyn McCarty, and Colin MacLeod. In his recent book, The Road to Stockholm: Nobel Prizes, Science, and Scientists (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2002, pp 229–230 and 249–250, respectively), Hargittai suggested that interviewees Neil Bartlett and Árpád Furka should have received the Nobel Prize.

Although I have written interviews, reviews, and articles involving seven of the chemists interviewed, from the conversations with them and others I also learned many surprising or little known facts: Harry W. Kroto, William Lipscomb, and István Hargittai are all Kentucky colonels (p 27); the details of Neil Bartlett’s explosion eye injury (p 42); Lawrence S. Bartell’s invention of electron holography resulted in its citation in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most powerful microscope (p 59); Jacquelin K. Barton is the wife of Peter Dervan (p 161); Bruce Merrifield’s facial plastic surgery was required to remove tumors caused by X-ray treatment of adolescent acne (p 217); and Anatol M. Zhabotinsky of Belousov-Zhabotinsky fame never met Boris P. Belousov (p 440).

This volume contains more unpublished interviews than the two previous ones; however, because subscribers to The Chemical Intelligencer and Chemical Heritage may be potential buyers of Candid Science III, here is an annotated list of its contents (CI, previously appeared in the same or modified form in The Chemical Intelligencer—23; CH, previously appeared in the same or modified form in Chemical Heritage—4; N, Nobel laureate—18; =, deceased—3; F, female—3; J, Jewish—12; M, interviewed by Magdolna Hargittai—2):

1.      Glenn T. Seaborg (16 pp) CI N =

2.      William N. Lipscomb (10 pp) CI N

3.      Neil Bartlett (20 pp) CI

4.      Ronald J. Gillespie (10 pp) CI

5.      Lawrence S. Bartell (22 pp) M

6.      Paul von Ragué Schleyer (16 pp) CI

7.      Albert Eschenmoser (12 pp) CI

8.      Gilbert Stork (12 pp) CI J

9.      Endre A. Balazs (26 pp, one of the two longest    pieces)

10.    Alfred Bader (12 pp) CI J

11.    Jacquelin K. Barton (10 pp) CH F J

12.    Ad Bax (10 pp) CI

13.    Donald J. Cram (20 pp) CI N =

14.    Jean-Marie Lehn (8 pp) CI N

15.    Bruce Merrifield (12 pp) CI N

16.    Árpád Furka (10 pp) CI

17.    Guy Ourisson (20 pp) CH J

18.    Mildred Cohn (18 pp) F J M

19.    Paul D. Boyer (12 pp) CI N

20.    John E. Walker (12 pp) N

21.    Herbert A. Hauptman (26 pp, one of two longest         pieces) CI N J

22.    Jack D. Dunitz (14 pp) J

23.    Hartmut Michel (10 pp) N

24.    Johann Deisenhofer (12 pp) CH N

25.    Robert Huber (14 pp) N J

26.    Manfred Eigen (10 pp) N

27.    John C. Polanyi (14 pp) CI N

28.    Dudley R. Herschbach (8 pp) CI N J

29.    Henry Taube (14 pp) CI N

30.    Rudolph A. Marcus (8 pp) CI N J

31.    Ilya Prigogine (10 pp) CI N = J

32.    Anatol M. Zhabotinsky (16 pp) CI

33.    Richard N. Zare (12 pp) CH J

34.    Paul J. Crutzen (6 pp, one of the two shortest pieces) CI N

35.    Reiko Kuroda (6 pp, one of the two shortest pieces)   CI F

36.    Stephen Mason (24 pp)

Only three of the scientists are women (Jacquelin K. Barton, Mildred Cohn, and Reiko Kuroda) so, despite the increasing acceptance of women in academic, industrial, and governmental laboratories, further advances in the struggle against sexism are needed. The first two explain how they balance marriage and parenting with their careers, and Kuroda is single. A most unusual decision regarding parenting was made by the twice-married Donald J. Cram:

By the time I entered college, I had decided not to have children, a decision that was never regretted. Accordingly, I was careful to court only girls who wanted to have professional careers (p 186).

An extremely high proportion of the interviewees (at least 12 or one-third) are Jewish, so the issues of Judaism, the Holocaust, and anti-Semitism are discussed by many of them. According to Herbert A. Hauptman, “Perhaps 95% of the students [at City College of New York] were Jewish at the time [1930s]” (p 305). As expected of a diverse group of highly individual persons with strong opinions, the interviewees do not always agree on these or other topics.

The date and exact locale of each interview is provided along with a biographical sketch. According to Hargittai, the one with Donald J. Cram took place

in a well-guarded and walled community of about a thousand homes. We were sitting on a terrace between the house and swimming pool, and my Dictaphone recorded not only our conversation but a lot of birds singing in the background. It was a beautiful day, and we proceeded unhurriedly from topic to topic (p 179).

Those with Glenn T. Seaborg and Herbert A. Hauptman are composites of two sessions, those with Manfred Eigen and Keiko Kuroda are narratives based on conversations, and those with Hartmut Michel and Ilya Prigogine were conducted by email and telephone, respectively. The interview with Hargittai’s fellow Hungarian Endre A. Balazs is mostly in the form of a long monologue. Many of the interviews are cross-referenced with those in this and previous volumes, and some of them include references.

The interviews include one or more portraits, many photographed by Hargittai himself or his wife. The volume contains 86 illustrations, not only formal and informal photos of interviewees, their families, colleagues, and students but also of equipment, experiments, medals, chemical structures, and even cute little South American owl monkeys (Ophthalmologist Endre A. Balazs chose their eyes as a model for purity control of hyaluronan, p 136). Hargittai’s questions are printed in italics, and the much longer responses appear in Roman type. Structural formulas, equations, and reaction schemes are included when necessary. Three of the interviewees (Seaborg, Cram, and Prigogine) are now deceased, underscoring the importance of acquiring such oral histories promptly. A name index (10 double-column pages with boldface page numbers referring to interviews) but no subject index is provided.

In the words of 1985 Nobel chemistry laureate Herbert A. Hauptman, who wrote the preface,

I believe there is no better way to stimulate the creative impulse than to learn at first hand from the words of the masters, those whose work has survived the test of time….I believe…that no third person account can possibly generate the same sensation of pleasure one derives by sharing with the author himself his own feelings of excitement as he recounts the circumstances of his discovery….Much of the earlier biographies which already exist were written after the death of the scientist involved, often long after, so that no first hand account is available….

Professor Hargittai’s contribution…serves the unique and important purpose that it presents in a timely way, while the scientist is still alive, and in the first person, the significance of his contribution and the context in which it was made, as he himself has seen it. For this reason the reader himself feels a closer connection with the scientist than would otherwise be possible and develops a deeper appreciation of the author’s contribution than he otherwise might….I believe that Professor Hargittai’s book will serve the same function, the importance of which cannot be exaggerated, since I believe it will stimulate the reader to think in new directions.

I heartily agree with Hauptman’s opinion, and therefore I recommend this handy volume, admirably suited for complete reading or browsing, not only to historians of chemistry and of science but also to practicing scientists, especially beginning ones, as well as to students, who will surely benefit from these inspiring stories by some of chemistry’s leading luminaries.

George B. Kauffman

California State University, Fresno,

S1430-4171(04)01763-9, 10.1333/s00897040763a

Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers. Donald A. McQuarrie. University Science Books: Sausalito, CA, 2003. 1184 pp, hardcover, 2.25 ´ 9.50 ´ 8.00 in. $90. ISBN 1-891389-24-6 (Cloth cover, North American Edition), ISBN 1-891389-29-7; (Paperback, available outside North America only).

Chemists often argue that theirs is the central science. As chemistry underlies key areas in physics, biology, materials, engineering, and other sciences, it is easy to understand why some chemists think that somehow everything revolves around this particular universe.

Nevertheless, although mathematics is more a technique than a science, it is even more fundamental than chemistry. Without some appreciation of mathematics, and some facility with it, students and researchers across most areas of science would be seriously handicapped. In much of chemistry, work is impossible without mathematical tools.

It is evident that mathematics occupies a position of unique importance in science. Despite this, many students studying for an undergraduate chemistry degree or embarking upon chemical research are not strong mathematicians. Those who desire a “hard” science that combines a mathematical core with a practical element may become physicists; those who are less confident with mathematics may be more inclined to become chemists, but not all chemistry undergraduates realize that they may need to be competent mathematicians.

On Web-based discussion groups, such as CHEMED-L, the mathematics background of science students is a common topic of discussion. What level of mathematical understanding should we expect in freshmen science students? How much mathematics should be required of those students (not necessarily the same thing)? Should mathematics always be offered as background material for a science course, or should an adequate understanding be taken for granted? And if some sort of remedial mathematics is required, should such teaching be the responsibility of chemists, or of mathematicians?

Limitations in science students’ understanding of mathematics seem inevitable. These limitations are a concern for many who teach science at university, and often also render teaching of science at the upper levels of high school more difficult. In my own department roughly 95% of the 190 students that we accept each year into the honors chemistry program have mathematics at “A2” level, the highest common qualification in the British school system, but there are always a small number of students who choose to replace mathematics at A2 level by some other topic. Within the department we have debated whether A2 mathematics should be made compulsory for entry into the chemistry program, but if that were done, there is a real risk that talented chemists who are just less strong in mathematics might be turned away.

To help students whose mathematics is modest, universities typically provide “maths for scientists” courses; these are fertile ground for textbooks because of the substantial number of potential customers. At the undergraduate level the associated maths texts are essentially remedial in nature, but at the research level texts containing more meaty mathematics are needed. These latter texts typically combine a substantial volume of reference material with a concentrated introduction to mathematical methods and provide the kind of fundamental mathematics that may be essential during a science degree.

For the research chemist, the choice of suitable books is small. They must be comprehensive, yet lucid enough for nonmathematicians to follow, and this is not a trivial requirement. When I was studying for my Ph.D. in quantum mechanics in the late 1960s, the mathematical bible for chemists was a text by Margenau and Murphy called The Mathematics of Physics and Chemistry. This was referred to almost universally by the names of its authors rather than by its title, (rather as Peter Atkins’ book on Physical Chemistry is now widely known amongst physical chemists by the author’s name). Margenau and Murphy stood out as the obvious choice for the chemist who needed access to “proper” mathematics, presented in a fashion that was both readable and comprehensive. So seminal was this book, published in 1956, that a search on Amazon even now shows more than seventy references to it in books currently on print.

The great range of topics encompassed by the two volumes of Margenau & Murphy, and its authoritative treatment, made it hard for any text to compete. No longer.

Donald McQuarrie’s new book, Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers appears to be positioned squarely as a successor to Margenau and Murphy. Like its predecessor, the coverage is extensive, and the book is immensely readable. McQuarrie and Simon’s well-regarded text on thermodynamics [1] has a refreshingly original approach, and all McQuarrie’s writing is notable for its lucidity.

Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers is a door-stop-sized work, comprising more than eleven-hundred pages. The range of topics covered is considerable, and the book includes all the most important areas that a graduate chemist might reasonably need. On the inside cover are those trigonometric identities, Taylor expansions, and integrals that, as one’s brain cells age, seem imperceptibly to dribble out of the mind, so this is a promising, if obvious, beginning. The table of contents reveals an impressive selection of all that one might want in scientific mathematics. Anyone who contemplates buying a book of this sort will want to be sure that it covers the areas of mathematics that are important in their field, and as this list of chapter topics indicates, everything that one might expect is present.

Chapter 1 (62 pp), covers Functions of a Single Variable; chapter 2 (52 pp) discusses Infinite Series. Chapter 3 (44 pp) deals with Functions Defined as Integrals, chapter 4 (32 pp) discusses Complex Numbers, and chapter 5 (40 pp) is a (for me, surprisingly short) introduction to Vectors, though vectors do reappear later on. Chapter 6 (68 pp) deals with Functions of Several Variables, and chapter 7 (46 pp) deals with Vector Calculus; Curvilinear Co-ordinates (48 pp) is discussed in chapter 8. Chapter 9 (48 pp) considers Linear Algebra and Vector Spaces, and Matrices and Eigenvalue Problems (60 pp) form the topic of chapter 10 and Ordinary Differential Equations (60 pp) form the topic of chapter 11. Series Solution of Differential Equations (50 pp) is considered in chapter 12, Qualitative Methods for Nonlinear Differential Equations (42 pp) in chapter 13, and Orthogonal Polynomials and Sturm-Liouville Problems in chapter 14 (46 pp). Fourier series (34 pp) are covered in chapter 15, Partial Differential Equations (68 pp) in chapter 16, and Integral Transforms (54 pp) in chapter 17. Functions of Complex Variables is broken into two chapters, chapter 18 (52 pp) dealing with the theory and chapter 19 (64 pp) with the applications. Chapter 20 deals with the Calculus of Variations (38 pp) and Probability Theory (52 pp) forms the topic of chapter 21. The book concludes with a discussion of mathematical statistics in chapter 22 (47 pp).

On almost every page there is a worked example relating to the text, and these are particularly helpful in illustrating how the mathematics can be applied. The problems that appear at the end of each chapter provide an opportunity to test one’s understanding; answers for a selection of these are provided at the back of the book. There are no appendices, but an extensive index is provided.

The feel of the book is quite different from Margenau and Murphy—the links to quantum mechanics in particular are less strongly drawn. Nevertheless, much of the mathematics that Margenau and Murphy discuss is covered also in this text. It is a mathematical text, but the chemistry and physics to which the mathematics relates are never very far away. The particle in a box appears, as does rotational motion, the Lotka–Volterra equations, and the Laplace Transforms. Eigenvalue problems, Hermitian operators, the Boltzmann distribution, the hydrogen atom and the photoelectric effect are all mentioned in the context of, and used to illustrate, the relevant mathematical manipulations.

This is the kind of book that few chemists will read in its entirety, lucid though it undoubtedly is. I have worked through only some of the chapters in detail, and I am not sufficiently acquainted with the intricacies of the mathematics to have spotted more than trivial errors, but for such a complex area the book seems remarkably error-free.

Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers may not have been written with the conscious aim of creating a successor to Margenau and Murphy, but, it seems to me, McQuarrie has managed exactly that. This a book of great authority and value. Few chemists whose work has a mathematical flavor will come across a more valuable publication this year.

References and Notes

1.       Molecular Thermodynamics; McQuarrie, D. A.; Simon. J. D. University Science Books: Sausalito, CA. 1999.

Hugh Cartwright

Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford University, U.K.,

S1430-4171(04)01767-5, 10.1333/s00897040767a

The Double Bond: Primo Levi, A Biography. By Carole Angier. Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, 2002. Illustrations. xvi + 898 pp, hardbound, 16.0 ´ 24.1 cm. $40.00; £25. ISBN 0-374-11315-7.

I first became aware of the secular, assimilated Jewish-Italian chemist, novelist, writer of short stories and memoirs, essayist, poet, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi (1919–1987) with the publication in 1984 of the translation of his 1975 best-selling autobiographical masterpiece Il sistema periodica, known to English readers as The Periodic Table [1], which brought him to the attention of chemists who might not otherwise have read his work. My review [2a] apparently found a wide audience, for it was selected for reprinting [2b] in a series intended to be “a comprehensive information source on world short story fiction” [2c].

I lost track of Levi until recently. Although two biographies in Italian [3, 4], one in French [5], and one in English [6] had appeared during the intervening years, 2002 saw the publication of not one, but two mammoth efforts in this genre—Carole Angier’s The Double Bond (914 pp) and Ian Thomson’s Primo Levi (640 pp) [7], the products of eight and ten years of research and writing, respectively.

Carole Angier is Royal Literary Fund Associate Fellow at the University of Warwick. Her 1990 biography of West Indian-born British novelist Jean Rhys was short-listed for the Whitbread Biography Award and won an Award for Nonfiction from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. She has left no stone unturned in unearthing the most obscure nuggets and minutiae about Levi’s life and work, both chemical and literary, in compiling her massive volume, which we might classify as “psychobiography”—biography in which the author attempts to understand the subject’s inner psychological life and motivations by applying psychological principles to interpret the evidence. She cites not only materials from archives, letters, documents, and published and unpublished sources, but also interviews conducted by her and others. In fact, she frequently intrudes at length into the text to describe the circumstances of her interviews and the persons whom she consulted, a procedure that allows the reader to see exactly how she went about researching and writing her book—information that may be valuable to other biographers.

Angier meticulously and skillfully integrates Levi’s life and his writings, and she quotes extensively from his work in Italian with English translations. She frequently employs as section titles the elements used by Levi as titles of the essays in The Periodic Table, and one of her chapters (Chapter 5) is titled “Nickel.” The incredible extent of the detail that she includes is such that perhaps only the most enthusiastic of Levi’s aficionados will want to read every page. For others her book might seem to provide more information about him than they would care to know.

Having studied Italian for a year with the late Dante scholar Domenico Vittorini more than half a century ago, I considered myself to be familiar with many aspects of Italian culture. Yet I was surprised to learn from Angier that, contrary to our common perception of Italians in general as emotional, volatile Latins, the inhabitants of Piedmont—northwestern Italy—especially Turin, are characterized by a puritan, almost Victorian reserve. The rest of Italy agrees, calling Turin, where Levi was born and spent almost his entire life, “il frigorifero d’Italia” (the refrigerator of Italy) and the Turinese “pesci morti” (dead fish, like our cold fish) (p xv). Furthermore, as a Jewish friend of Levi’s told Angier, “when Jews assimilate, they become 110 per cent like their neighbors” (p xvi). Angier considers this trait as the key to Levi’s entire life and oeuvre. She begins the preface to her lengthy biography: “Primo Levi’s most characteristic and unvarying trait was his reserve” (p xv).

Thus, although through the years Levi gave hundreds of interviews and lectures and wrote biographical articles and essays, he almost never wrote or spoke publicly about his personal life or his family. Likewise, his wife, his sister, and his children would not speak to Angier at all. As a biographer who encountered the same lack of cooperation from American physical chemist William Draper Harkins’ widow, I can empathize with Angier and marvel at the splendid biography that she has been able to write despite this severe obstacle [8].

However, some of Levi’s friends who confided in Angier related information to her in indirect ways or asked that she refer to them anonymously. Where she can tell Levi’s story factually, she does so, and where she cannot, because she is unable to betray her sources or because she has felt or imagined the past from a story or encounter, she simply relates the story or encounter.

In Angier’s words,

That is why this book is on two levels: a rationally tested, known or knowable one; and the other. Perhaps I needn’t say that the felt or imagined level seems to me to be equally true, and even more important. But I would have liked to say so to Primo Levi. For these two, the rational and the irrational, were also his own two sides; but he chose to live in only one of them. And though this was the key to his own achievement, it was also the key to his suffering. That is one of the main things I want to say: that Primo Levi chose to live in only the rational half of himself, and closed the door on the other. This was his armour, but also the gap in it (p xvii).

Angier appropriated the title for her biography from an unfinished book of Levi’s, an attempt to resolve the two sides of his nature, on which he was working until he became too ill. The book, Il doppio legame (The Double Bond) [9], of which she discusses six chapters, was

a collection of letters from a chemist to a lady, on the model of eighteenth-century books of instruction for young women….On the surface his letters would be merely pedagogical, answering the scientific questions she had asked; while underneath they would be shyly personal, hinting at the growing feeling of the elderly, valetudinarian chemist for the Lady (p 658).

According to Angier, the title of Levi’s book and her own has a double meaning

The double bond of organic chemistry, but also the ‘double bind’ of psychology. That is: a crippling conflict between contradictory or unfulfillable requirements, which you can neither escape nor win. Both these meanings are at the heart of this book. It aims, that is—like Levi’s own last book—to be primarily personal and inward. To look at relatively private sides of him, such as his life in chemistry; and at very private sides of him, such as the hidden life of his psyche (p xviii).

In keeping with the length of her biography, which uses British spelling consistently throughout, Angier includes 114 pages of notes; 17 pages of bibliography, classified as books (by and on Levi, conferences about Levi, the Holocaust, and many other aspects); interviews; articles—20 alone on Levi’s death; talks; etc.; even television programs; and an extremely detailed index (34 double-column pages). She provides 64 illustrations, including formal and informal portraits, caricatures, drawings, plaques, postcards, book flyers, engravings, paintings, a map showing the tortuous path of Levi’s return from Auschwitz to Turin via the USSR, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Italy (March–October 1945, p 368), a copper wire sculpture (an ant, possibly the ant queen of one of Levi’s stories, p 535), and the tower at SIVA that Levi designed to discharge clean rather than toxic water into the Settimo waste system (p 556).

Angier begins her story with Levi’s detailed family tree (pp 2–3) and a long discussion of the Piedmontese Jews, among the oldest continuous inhabitants of Italy, and Levi’s family members, to each of whom she devotes several pages, especially his ambivalent and abnormal relationship with his mother. Although Levi and his family were not religiously observant, religion made a brief appearance in his early life when he was bar mitzvahed (pp 76–78). As a youth he fell in love with every girl who spoke to him, and even more with those who didn’t (p 79), but he was hypersensitive and shy.

Although Levi attended the Ginnasio Liceo Massimo D’Azeglio, one of Turin’s top classical secondary schools (1930–1937), he decided that science not literature would be his calling. He entered the Faculty of Chimica Pura of the University of Turin in 1937, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1941. Angier’s sketches of his college friends and professors are augmented with quotations from chapters of his own book The Periodic Table. Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s racial laws, which were passed in 1938, made it difficult for Levi to find a job, but he became a chemist at a mine, where he attempted to recover nickel from asbestos, which he described in “Nickel” in The Periodic Table.

In September 1943 Levi joined a poorly equipped band of partisans in an attempt to connect with the resistance movement, but he was captured, admitted that he was Jewish under questioning, and was sent, together with 651 other Jews, only 31 of whom survived, to the concentration camp of Fossoli in late January 1944. On February 22, 1944 he was sent to Auschwitz, where he remained from February 26, 1944 until January 27, 1945, when he was liberated by the Soviet Army. His number, tattooed on his left forearm and later on his tombstone, was 174517, and he survived by working as a slave laborer in the I. G. Farbenindustrie synthetic rubber factory. Angier discusses his fellow prisoners as well as his captors, and she gives an almost day-by-day recital of events in the camp. Levi returned to Turin, where on January 21, 1946 he became Assistant Head of the Research Laboratory of Duco Avigliana, a factory manufacturing paints and varnishes and a subsidiary of the worldwide chemical giant Dupont.

On September 8, 1947 Levi married Lucia Morpurgo. The couple had two children, a daughter Lisa (b. October 31, 1948) and a son Renzo (b. July 2, 1957). Renzo married Silvia Arancia, and they had a son Emanuele (b. 1993) and a daughter Miriam (b. 1998). Levi, his wife, children, mother, and mother-in-law lived in his mother Rina’s house, and just as his mother had dominated him, she ruled over his family, especially his wife. His unhappy home life, which Angier characterizes as a “war” (p 526), contributed to the stress and depression, from which he had suffered for years, even long before Auschwitz. According to Angier, “All Primo’s depressions were one depression, with long (or once long) periods of truce between” (p 660).

On October 11, 1947 Levi’s first book, a testament relating his experiences at Auschwitz, titled Se questo è un uomo (If This Is a Man) [10], was published. In February 1948 he became a chemist at SIVA (Società Industriale Vernici Affini), a company “for the production and sale of chemical products; paints, pigments, colours, varnishes and allied wares,” in Turin, where he established himself as an authority on the manufacture of synthetic resins. In 1961 he became general manager, but his work there began to interfere increasingly with his literary work. In 1974 he finally resigned after 27 years with the firm, but he continued to work there for another three years until a replacement could be found. In September 1977 his “half-life as a chemist was finally over” (p 599).

Levi preferred writing to chemistry, and he later became a literary celebrity and much sought after speaker, especially at schools. Except for his first book Se questo è un uomo [10], he gestated each of his books for years. For example, as early as 1945 he had been telling friends episodes from his next book, La Tregua (The Truce) [11], which appeared in 1963 and was the first of his books to be immediately accepted by his publisher. This volume and I sommersi e i salvati (The Drowned and the Saved) (1986) [12] were autobiographical works that reflected on his wartime experiences. As the years passed, he wrote more and more in various genres and received more and more acclaim and awards, all of which are discussed by Angier.

Beginning in 1977 Levi suffered his first serious sickness since Auschwitz—shingles, which Angier regards as “a stress-related illness” (p 599). A number of events contributed to his increasing depression: the violence in Italy caused by the Red Brigades; the resurgence of fascism; the decline in the health of his mother, whose senility made her more demanding than ever; his outrage at Holocaust denial; Israel’s invasion of Southern Lebanon and the infamous massacres of Sabra and Chatila; his fear that he might never write again; and the decrease in his strength and health.

Although not a womanizer, Levi had a number of intense friendships with women. In Angier’s words, “In almost every friend and every woman he sought freedom from himself—from his depression, his self-suppression, his bondage to his mother” (p 521). Angier interviewed several of these women, for example, one whom Levi referred to as Gisella (Angier even includes notes from Gisella’s diary, pp 654–655) and a girl whom he saw at Auschwitz and called “Lilith” (pp 585–590). As in her remarks about most of her interviews, Angier gives us insights into her interviewing techniques:

It was not quite true that she [Lilith] had told me nothing at all. If you really want to tell someone nothing at all, you must refuse to see them [sic]; once they’re [sic] across your threshold, even your silence will give something away (p 590).

In her later chapters, especially the final one, “The Double Bind: 1987” (pp 697–731), Angier discusses Levi’s final year and his infirmities in almost unbelievable detail: his last phone calls and visits; his physicians, including a woman psychoanalyst; his medications, including antidepressants; his contemplation of suicide (she also considers some of his stories “suicide notes”); his writer’s block and his inability to read or write; the ulcer on his foot; his loss of memory; and his operation (March 17, 1987) in the San Giovanni Maggiore Hospital for benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH), not prostate cancer, as he feared. She describes his death on April 11, 1987 caused by a fall into the stairwell [13] outside his third-floor apartment at Corso Re Umberto 75 where he had been born 67 years earlier on July 31, 1919 and where he had spent his entire life except for a year in Milan and one in Auschwitz. Although the police and ambulance service filed their reports under suicide, there has been worldwide speculation about Levi’s death [14]. One of the first thoughts was that he might have been murdered by Fascists, Nazis, or skinheads.

I remember wondering at the time why someone who was a survivor of Auschwitz, who dedicated himself to testifying to the world of the Nazi atrocities of the Holocaust, would do away with himself. I also wondered why a chemist, with access to poisons, or a patient who could have overdosed on antidepressants, would have chosen such an uncertain method of suicide, which might have merely left him severely injured or paralyzed. Rita Levi-Montalcini, 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate, a friend but apparently not a relative, who also suffered from depression and who spoke to Levi the day before his death, did not believe that Levi committed suicide [15]. In an interview she told István Hargittai,

I am sure, absolutely sure that he never committed suicide, he may have lost his balance because he was very weak, and perhaps that is why he fell down. The family insisted that it was suicide, but I am sure it was not; I knew him too well. He should have been interviewed about that time and he was absolutely far away from even remotely considering of taking his own life….It is absolutely out of the question that he killed himself [16].

After critically evaluating all the possibilities and speculations regarding Levi’s death, Angier concludes that he did commit suicide. Although some reports linked his depression to his experiences at Auschwitz, she denies this as a cause. In the preface to her book she states:

What we suffer from most in the end is our own private condition. It was his own private condition that killed Primo Levi, and I wanted his readers to know it (p xx).

In her final chapter she repeats this conclusion:

Primo Levi’s death was personal. It was a tragedy, but it was not a victory for Auschwitz (p 727).

References and Notes

1.       Levi, P. The Periodic Table; Rosenthal, R., transl.; Schocken Books: New York, NY, 1984. This collection of 21 meditations, each named for a different chemical element, on the analogies between the physical, chemical, and moral spheres, is Levi’s greatest critical and popular success. With it he “became not just an Italian writer, or a European writer, but an international one” (p 640).

2.       (a) Kauffman, G. B. Isis 1986,77, 330–332; reprinted in (b) Short Story Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers; Segal, D., Ed.; Gale Research: Detroit, MI, 1993; Vol. 12, pp 264–265; (c) Short Story Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers; Segal, D., Ed.; Gale Research: Detroit, MI, 1993; Vol. 12, pp 264–265; p vii.

3.       Poli, G.; Calcagno, G. Echi di una voce perduta: incontri, interviste e conversazioni con Primo Levi; Mursia: Milan, 1992.

4.       Dini, M.; Jesurum, S. Primo Levi: le opere e i giorni; Rizzoli: Milan, 1992.

5.       Anissimov, M., Primo Levi, ou la tragédie d’un optimiste; J. C. Lattès: Paris, 1996; translated into English by S. Cox as Primo Levi: Tragedy of an Optimist; The Overlook Press: New York, 1999.

6.       Cicioni, M. Primo Levi: Badges of Knowledge; Berg: Oxford, Washington, DC, 1995.

7.       Thomson, I. Primo Levi; Hutchinson: London, 2002; Primo Levi: A Life; Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Co.: New York, 2003.

8.       In contrast, Ian Thomson, the British journalist and translator of Italian fiction and author of reference 7, was one of the last writers to interview Levi and had extensive access to his papers and family members.

9.       In the last finished chapter, the sixth, of Il doppio legame Levi discusses some of the most fundamental scientific questions—the nature of matter and time, whether time is as discontinuous as matter, and how life originated (p 685).

10.     Levi, P. Se questo è un uomo; F. de Silva: Turin, 1947; translated into English as If This Is a Man; Orion Press: New York, 1959 and Survival in Auschwitz: The Nazi Assault on Humanity; Collier Books: New York, 1961. The book has been translated into numerous languages and has gone through numerous editions. It was also adapted as a play: Se questo è un uomo; In I quaderni del Teatro Stabile della città di Torino, No. 8; Edizioni del Teatro Stabile di Torino: Turin, 1986.

11.     Levi, P. La tregua; Einaudi: Turin, 1963; translated into English by Stuart Woolf as The Truce: A Survivor’s Journey Home from Auschwitz; Bodley Head: London, 1965.

12.     Levi, P. I sommersi e i salvati; Einaudi: Turin, 1986; translated into English by Raymond Rosenthal as The Drowned and the Saved; Vintage International: New York, 1989.

13.     Angier even mentions the height of the banisters (96 cm) and Levi’s height (170 cm, about 5 foot, 5 inches) (pp 722, 725) in connection with speculations that Levi may have killed himself by leaping into the stairwell.

14.     Levi’s paternal great-uncle, Giacomo (1860–1887), hanged himself (p 31), and his paternal grandfather, Michele (1849–1888), for whom he was named (Primo Michele) had thrown himself to his death “from a height” (p 33).

15.     Levi-Montalcini, R. Primo Levi non si è suicidato. Unità, April 25, 1987; Non si è suicidato. Panorama, May 3, 1987.

16.     Levi-Montalcini, R. In Hargittai, I. Candid Science II: Conversations with Famous Biomedical Scientists; Imperial College Press: London, 2002; p 370. For a review see Kauffman,G. B. Chem. Educator 2003, 8, 90–93; DOI 10.1333/s00897030663a.

George B. Kauffman

California State University, Fresno,

S1430-4171(04)01764-8, 10.1333/s00897040764a

Chemistry: Principles and Reactions, Fifth edition. By William L. Masterton and Cecile N. Hurley. Brookes/Cole: CA, USA, 2004. xxviii + 676 pp. ISBN 0-534-40878-8.

Chemistry: Principles and Reactions, as the title suggests, is a text that provides the basic grounding for a course in general chemistry. The book is clearly written for the American market. As stated in Chapter 1, the text is designed for a first college course in chemistry and aimed at those studying subjects such as engineering and medicine and pharmacy as well as chemistry, the level being similar to that in an A level to first-year degree course in the U.K. The fact that the text is at a first-year college level is emphasized by the shorter nature of this edition compared with the pervious edition.

Each chapter starts with a brief introduction that summarizes the main topics covered within it. There then follows the main body of the chapter, which clearly outlines the principles, making extensive use of examples, color diagrams, and photos. The examples are divided into two types. The first type, which is more numerous than the second, consists of questions complete with a strategy for solving them and the solution. The second type is the “Graded Example”; these questions are composed of several parts, followed by the approach to solve each part and the solutions.

Most chapters also contain “The Human Side,” which is a brief summary of the crucial work that a notable scientist played in the development of the underlying chemistry being discussed in that chapter. For example, Chapter 5, “Gases,” discusses the achievements of Amadeo Avogardo, and Chapter 17, “Spontaneity of Reaction,” includes information about J. Willard Gibbs.

All of the chapters include a section titled “Beyond the Classroom.” This is a cleverly written section that outlines how the chemistry that has been discussed relates to, and is used in, the world around us. For instance, Chapter 4, “Reactions in Aqueous Solutions,” summarizes how antacids work; Chapter 6, “Electronic Structure and the Periodic Table,” talks about aurora; and Chapter 22, “Organic Chemistry,” discusses cholesterol.

At the end of each chapter are the “Chapter Highlights,” namely, “Key Concepts,” “Key Equations,” and “Key Terms.” “Key Concepts” is a numbered summary of the main concepts, referenced first to an example and secondly to a problem in the “Questions and Problems” section. The “Key Equations” section consists of a list of the equations stated in the chapter, and “Key Terms” provides an alphabetic list of all the important terms which are defined in the chapter (and are written in bold in the index). This is followed by a list of “Summary Problems” with answers and “Questions and Problems.” Answers to even-numbered problems and challenging problems and questions are given in Appendix 6, and further answers are given on the Web site for the text.

Additional information is given in the appendices. These include the usual list of constants and reference data that one would expect, together with a useful section reviewing mathematics, the nomenclature of complex ions and organic compounds, and an appendix on molecular orbital theory.

The material covered in the text is further reinforced by the inclusion of a free CD-ROM. The CD-ROM has been compiled to be used in conjunction with the text using a cross reference with a CD icon in the margin of the book. The CD, which is organized in the same fashion as each chapter of the book, helps strengthen the concepts and principles from the text by providing an interactive format to study key ideas. This is achieved by the summary of the most important points from each chapter and the use of video footage with sound and narration. The CD-ROM also contains a periodic table, which gives the properties of each of the elements, and it also includes a range of molecular models, which can be rotated and viewed from any angle, containing examples from biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry.

Chapter 22 on organic chemistry provides only a brief introduction to the topic, discussing just hydrocarbons, alcohols, carboxylic acids, esters, isomerism, and synthetic polymers. The information given is inadequate for an A-level course or the first section of a degree course. No attempt is made to give a mechanistic explanation of organic reactions, which will certainly be necessary to those wanting to study chemistry further. Personally, I feel the text would benefit by the inclusion of a second chapter on organic chemistry discussing topics such as organic nitrogen compounds like amines, amino acids, and proteins, as well as the examination of a mechanistic approach to the investigation of organic chemistry. This will aid the exploration of chemistry, particularly for those students who intend to study subjects that include a medical or pharmaceutical component.

Overall, Chemistry: Principles and Reactions is a clearly and skillfully written textbook. On the whole, the book is attractively presented with a number of color diagrams; important concepts are generally well explained. As such, I feel the book fulfils the goals the authors intended, that is, a shorter, easy-to-follow, and useful textbook for a first undergraduate course in chemistry.

Sanjay Sharma

Dyson Perrins Laboratory, University of Oxford,

S1430-4171(04)01766-6, 10.1333/s00897040766a

American Chemical Society Directory of Graduate Research 2003. Prepared by the Committee on Professional Training. Item No. 38952; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2003. xxv + 1675 pp, hardbound, 21.7 ´ 28.3 cm. $85.00. To order by phone using credit card call 1-800-227-5558 or 1-202-872-4600; FAX 1-202-872-6067; to order online log on to and use the “Quick Find” tool to get to the ACS Online Store. ISBN 0-8412-3895-2.

The latest edition of this standard reference work published biennially since 1953 contains a wealth of data on 669 academic departments or divisions in universities and colleges in the United States and Canada that offer organized curricula leading to master's and doctor’s degrees in eight chemistry-related fields: chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, medicinal and/or pharmaceutical chemistry, polymers and materials science, marine science, toxicology, and environmental science.

A frequently consulted source of up-to-date information on U.S. and Canadian academic research and researchers, the DGR is continually relied upon by undergraduates and their faculty advisors in selecting a graduate school suited to their particular interests and talents. By studying the data presented in this directory and by being attentive to the quality of the research publications whose references are given here, students can evaluate some factors in the choice of a graduate school. It is also a sine qua non for libraries, academic institutions and their chemistry and chemistry-related departments, chemically oriented businesses, and researchers needing to know who is carrying out research critical to their own.

In each of the eight sections arranged according to field, the institutions are listed alphabetically. For each department, information on the degrees offered, fields of specialization, chairperson's name, telephone and FAX numbers, and Web sites are followed by an alphabetical list of faculty members. For each researcher, the following information is provided: year of birth, academic rank, degrees received, major postdoctoral appointments, field of research, specific subjects of current research interest, telephone and FAX numbers, email addresses, the titles and complete reference citations in chronological order of all his or her articles published during 2001 and 2002 (72,450 citations), and the names of candidates completing their master's (designated “M”) and doctor's degrees (designated “D”) under the faculty member's supervision during the period along with the thesis titles.

Special statistical summaries appear in the introductory section (pp xiii–xxv) for all the departments. These provide information on the number of doctor's and master's degrees granted in 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 (July 1 through the following June 30 in each case), and as of September 2002 the number of first-year and total graduate enrollments, the number of postdoctoral appointments, and the number of full-time and part-time faculty members. A 25-page faculty index of 10,522 names makes the directory user-friendly.

If schools are listed for the first time, publication information for faculty members is permitted for a four-year period (January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2002) in order to provide more suitable and representative reporting of publications. The same privilege is accorded to new faculty members at other institutions if they have not been previously listed.

The American Chemical Society also maintains DGRweb, a searchable online database of faculty and institutions listed in the DGR: For details see DGRweb.

George B. Kauffman

California State University, Fresno,

S1430-4171(04)01765-7, 10.1333/s00897040765a