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Paperback 1250 pp.
3600 colour line drawings, 197 mm x 276 mm



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Imprint: OUP UK

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Organic Chemistry

Second Edition

Jonathan Clayden, Nick Greeves and Stuart Warren

Inspiring and motivating students from the moment it published, Organic Chemistry has established itself in just one edition as the students' choice of organic chemistry text.

This second edition takes all that has made Organic Chemistry the book of choice, and has refined and refocused it to produce a text that is even more student-friendly, more coherent and more logical in its presentation than before.

At heart, the second edition remains true to the first, being built on three principles:

An explanatory approach, through which the reader is motivated to understand the subject and not just learn the facts;

A mechanistic approach, giving the reader the power to understand compounds and reactions never previously encountered;

An evidence-based approach, setting out clearly how and why reactions happen as they do, giving extra depth to the reader's understanding.

The authors write clearly and directly, sharing with the reader their own fascination with the subject, and leading them carefully from topic to topic. Their honest and open narrative flags pitfalls and misconceptions, guiding the reader towards a complete picture of organic chemistry and its universal themes and principles.

Enriched with an extensive bank of online resources to help the reader visualise the structure of organic compounds and their reaction mechanisms, this second edition reaffirms the position of Organic Chemistry as the essential course companion for all organic chemistry students.

Readership : Undergraduate students following any chemistry or chemistry-related degree programme.


  • Review from previous edition: "If you want a really good book about organic chemistry get Organic Chemistry by Clayden, Greeves, Warren & Wothers."

    --Christian Aichinger, Organic Chemistry Blog.

  • "What strikes the reader straight away is the way the text is laid out so that it is visually exciting. I could go on, but it's beginning to sound like a paean of praise, so let me end by congratulating the authors and publishers in producing what I am sure will become the standard text in organic chemistry. Perhaps I should just summarise how I felt about the book when I came to put it down: refreshing, exciting and motivational."

    --Tony Barrett, Imperial College London.

  • "The authors should be congratulated for compiling a book that should prove very popular with our students...the text is very comprehensive and covers key areas in a very attractive and user friendly way."

    --Dr Don Green, University of North London.

  • "The book is brilliant - we have been waiting for up to 25 years for a decent British text."

    --John Mann, Professor of Biol. Chemistry, Queens University Belfast.

  • "This is a book we have all been waiting for! It is based on sound mechanistic reasoning and contains thousands of useful examples for teaching. Its style is approachable and covers both fundamental and more advanced material."

    --Adam Nelson, Lecturer, University of Leeds

  • "A magnificent resource."

    --Angewandte Chemie, International Edition, v. 40 no. 12, June 2001

  • "Represents a milestone in the field of organic chemistry textbooks... This is the first organic textbook that could be used in some shape or form on almost every organic chemistry course in any UK undergraduate programme... I soon expect to be hearing 'You can look it up in Clayden' ringing from lectures and tutorials, and for many years to come."

    --Andrew Boa in The Times Higher Education, 2001

  • "As a chemistry undergraduate I have found this book an excellent organic chemistry guide to accompany my university textbooks...the diagrams are clear and the chapters, sections and subsections are appropriately named which makes it easy to find what you're looking for."

    --Amazon, January 2011

  • "This is an excellent textbook which covers nearly all the organic chemistry reactions you could ever need as an undergraduate! I can't fault the content - everything is explained clearly with plenty of diagrams and reaction mechanisms."

    --Amazon, December 2009

1. What is organic chemistry?
2. Organic structures
3. Determining organic structures
4. Structure of molecules
5. Organic reactions
6. Nucleophilic addition to the carbonyl group
7. Delocalization and conjugation
8. Acidity, basicity, and pKa
9. Using organometallic reagents to make C-C bonds
10. Nucleophilic substitution at the carbonyl group
11. Nucleophilic substitution at C=O with loss of carbonyl oxygen
12. Equilibria, rates and mechanisms
13. 1H NMR: Proton nuclear magnetic resonance
14. Stereochemistry
15. Nucleophilic substitution at saturated carbon
16. Conformational analysis
17. Elimination reactions
18. Review of spectroscopic methods
19. Electrophilic addition to alkenes
20. Formation and reactions of enols and enolates
21. Electrophilic aromatic substitution
22. Conjugate addition and nucleophilic aromatic substitution
23. Chemoselectivity and protecting groups
24. Regioselectivity
25. Alkylation of enolates
26. Reactions of enolates with carbonyl compounds: the aldol and Claisen reactions
27. Sulfur, silicon and phosphorus in organic chemistry
28. Retrosynthetic analysis
29. Aromatic heterocycles 1: structures and reactions
30. Aromatic heterocycles 2: synthesis
31. Saturated heterocycles and stereoelectronics
32. Stereoselectivity in cyclic molecules
33. Diastereoselectivity
34. Pericyclic reactions 1: cycloadditions
35. Pericyclic reactions 2: sigmatropic and electrocyclic reactions
36. Participation, rearrangement and fragmentation
37. Radical reactions
38. Synthesis and reactions of carbenes
39. Determining reaction mechanisms
40. Organometallic chemistry
41. Asymmetric synthesis
42. Organic chemistry of life
43. Organic chemistry today

Online Resource Centre http://www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/orc/clayden2e
Student Resources:
Sapling Learning Online Homework System - features automatic homework grading, tutorial instruction, diagnostic feedback, algorithmic questions, and dedicated user support from chemists
End-of-Chapter Questions - feature a range of problems to help students assess whether they have understood the material covered in each chapter
3D Organic Animations - links are provided throughout the book to ChemTube3D, which contains interactive animations and structures, along with supporting information, to allow students to appreciate the material in three dimensions
Instructor Resources:
PowerPoint Slides - feature figures from the book in electronic format for use in lectures and as handouts

Jonathan Clayden is a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Manchester, where he and his research group work on the construction of molecules with defined shapes - in particular those where control of conformation and limitation of flexibility is important. Jonathan was awarded a BA (Natural Sciences) from Churchill College, Cambridge before completing his PhD with Stuart Warren, also at the University of Cambridge. He has been at the University of Manchester since 1994. Nick Greeves is the Director of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. Nick is a Cambridge graduate, obtaining his PhD there in 1986 for work on the stereoselective Horner-Wittig reaction with Stuart Warren. He then held a Harkness Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Stanford University, California, and a Research Fellowship at Cambridge University before joining Liverpool in 1989 where he is currently a Senior Lecturer. Stuart Warren is a former lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Stuart completed his PhD at Cambridge with Malcolm Clark before carrying out post-doctoral research at Harvard University. He became a teaching fellow at Churchill College in 1971, and remained a lecturer and researcher at Cambridge until his retirement in 2006.

Making Sense - Margot Northey and Joan McKibbin

Special Features

  • The course companion of choice for a generation of chemistry students.
  • Emphasis is on understanding rather than learning facts: organic chemistry emerges as a coherent whole, with numerous logical connections and consequences, and with an underlying structure and language.
  • Emphasis on mechanism, orbitals, and stereochemistry means that the student emerges with solid understanding of important factors common to all reactions, allowing interpretation/prediction of reactions not previously met.
  • Direct, personal, student-friendly writing style draws in and engages the reader, motivating them to learn more.
  • Extensive online support takes learning beyond the printed book, enhancing understanding still further.
New to this Edition
  • Fully updated. All chapters have been revised and refined. Coverage of topics that have been developed in the last ten years has been enhanced, including the presentation of metathesis, modern methods of asymmetric synthesis (including organocatalysis), 'click chemistry', and palladium-catalyzed couplings.
  • Interactive online resources. Chapters are extensively cross-linked to a bank of over 500 interactive online resources, to help students visualize molecular structure, and to gain a deeper and richer understanding of reaction mechanisms.
  • Revised chapters. Early chapters have been recast to give a more carefully-graded learning curve, which builds up chemical ideas step by step and avoids confronting students with too much, too soon.
  • A new chapter on regioselectivity. Along with a chapter on chemoselectivity, this new chapter provides a pause for thought and 'revision session' in the middle of the book.
  • Suggestions for further reading. Found in all chapters, these suggestions encourage students to take the next step in their learning.