The Chemical Century: Molecular Manipulation and Its Impact on the 20th Century

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9781771883665: The Chemical Century: Molecular Manipulation and Its Impact on the 20th Century
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This fascinating new volume provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the chemical aspects of some of the major innovations and changes that occurred during the 20th century, relating chemical structures and properties to real-life applications. Developed for a course taught by the author for several years at UVA, the author covers the important and consequential developments in chemistry and explains their everyday, real-life applications. These include such topics as consumer products, fossil fuel use, polymers, agriculture, food production, nutrition, explosives, and drugs. The section Molecular Biology and Its Applications includes examples of the application of biotechnology and genetic engineering.

 

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About the Author:

Richard C. Sundberg, PhD, is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Virginia and has been teaching for 50 years. He was a Fulbright Scholar (France) in 1978–79, and he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by the University of Minnesota in 2001. He has published about 100 research papers and five monographs in the area of heterocyclic organic compounds and has directed 25 PhD theses. His past books include Advanced Organic Chemistry (all editions) (co-authored with Francis A. Carey), Springer; Indoles, Best Synthetic Methods, Academic Press, 1996; and The Chemistry of Indoles, Academic Press, 1970.

Review:

"Professor Richard Sundberg, who is well known as an author of both a widely used advanced organic chemistry text and two indole chemistry monographs, has now published The Chemical Century for the educated general public. With minimal chemical jargon and few organic chemical structures, Sundberg has woven a fascinating story of chemistry over the past 150 years. From early chemical dyes and explosives, to the structures of DNA and proteins, and to today’s medicines and pesticides, Sundberg covers an array of ubiquitous chemical topics that are regularly featured in news media and on the Internet. Importantly, his book goes far in dissipating ‘chemophobia’―the irrational fear of chemicals that has plagued the general public for decades.The Chemical Century should be on the reading list of anyone interested in learning about chemicals, both good and evil."

―Dr. Gordon W. Gribble, The Dartmouth Professor of Chemistry, Hanover, New Hampshire

"Professor Sundberg is well known as an educator and as co-author of the two-volume, multi-edition Advanced Organic Chemistry, a mainstay in chemistry graduate education for 40 years.  He now has turned his pedagogical talents to the history of mankind from the 1800s until today through the lens of the contributions of chemistry. Readers need little chemical knowledge in order to inhale a sense of chemical research, product development, and commercialization in the 20thcentury.  Sundberg nimbly weaves the themes of power (such as in the form of explosives and fuels), the manufacture of everyday things, food, drug discovery, biotechnology, and molecular biology into a story that we, our parents, and our grandparents have experienced firsthand―mankind’s advances during the past 100 years."

―Jeffrey I. Seeman, Department of Chemistry, University of Richmond

"This masterful book relates the impact of chemical discovery and invention on the broad scope of twentieth-century history: upheaval in war, government and society; human and ecological health; industry and commerce; the rise and fall of nations and the quality of everyday human life. Chemical structures and equations provide depth for chemists and serve as illustrations for the more casual reader. The book’s organization and the table of contents make it easy to select particular topics of interest. The Chemical Century is a unique and valuable work: both a clearly written history of the science and a history of the century from a chemical point of view. Derived from classroom lectures at the University of Virginia, this book illustrates Dr. Sundberg’s love of teaching and his never-ending search for causation. Discovery leads to invention. Invention enables discovery as we progressed through the Chemical Century."

― Peter Bukowick, Chief Operating Officer (retired), Alliant Techsystems

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