John McMurry’s international best-seller is widely and consistently praised as the most clearly written book on the market. Why? In John McMurry’s words: "I have been asked hundreds of times over the past ten years why I wrote this book. I wrote this book because I love writing. I get great pleasure and satisfaction from taking a complicated subject, turning it around until I see it clearly from a new angle, and then explaining it in simple words. I write to explain chemistry to students the way I wish it had been explained to me years ago." Through his lucid writing and ability to show the beauty and logic of organic chemistry, McMurry makes learning enjoyable for students. The highest compliment that can be given to a chemistry book applies to McMurry: It works! Mainstream in level, McMurry’s coverage is concise yet doesn’t omit any key topics. McMurry blends the traditional functional-group approach with a mechanistic approach. The primary approach, by functional group, begins with the simple and progresses to the more complex so that readers who are not yet versed in the subtleties of mechanisms are first exposed to the "what" of chemistry before beginning to grapple with the "why." Within this primary organization, the author places a heavy emphasis on explaining the fundamental mechanistic similarities. In this edition, McMurry retains his standard-setting features (including his innovative vertical format for explaining reaction mechanisms) while revising his text line-by-line to include hundreds of small but important improvements. For example, the Sixth Edition includes new examples, additional steps in existing examples, new problems, new phrases to clarify the exposition, and a vibrant new art program. In addition, new icons in the text lead students to a variety of new online resources. McMurry’s text is in use at hundreds of colleges and universities around the world, from North America, to the United Kingdom and the Pacific Rim.
Text provides an introduction to organic chemistry. Includes new online resources, revised chapters, and new problems. For undergraduate students. Previous edition: c2000.
About the Author
John E. McMurry received his B.A. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. at Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Foundation Fellow. He has received several awards, which include the National Institutes of Health Career Development Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, and the Max Planck Research Award. In addition to ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, he is also the author or coauthor of ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, A BIOLOGICAL APPROACH, FUNDAMENTALS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, THE ORGANIC CHEMISTRY OF BIOLOGICAL PATHWAYS, CHEMISTRY, and FUNDAMENTALS OF GENERAL, ORGANIC, AND BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY.
A Beginner’s Guide to Organic, July 15, 2000
McMurry’s text is a very friendly, gentle intro to organic. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, but it doesn’t teach you what you need to know. Explanations for important mechanisms are usually very brief, and the problems included are usually very basic and general (the spectroscopy and synthesis problems, in particular). If you’re looking to become a chemist, this is not the book to learn from. I’d recommend Vollhardt and Schore’s textbook, or any number of sophomore-level texts that will give you the skills you need to approach complicated problems more successfully (i.e., on exams or out in the industry).
Fantastic Organic Text, July 5, 2004
I used this text for 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry. I thought it was fantastic, with very colorful, helpful electrostatic potential maps. It showed clear reaction mechanisms and gave a summary of all learned reactions at the end of the chapter.
If you need to learn Organic chem, McMurry is the way to go.
It’s now 2006 and I wrote that review in 2004. McMurry is an excellent guide to sophomore organic chemistry, and it leads well into more complicated texts, such as Dougherty’s Physical Organic, March’s Advanced Organic, or the dual Carey Advanced Organic tests. When I started grad school, I had to take the ACS Diagnostic test in organic chemistry and I aced it, largely from the material that I learned from this book.