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Calixarenes 50th Anniversary: Commemorative Volume.

Calixarenes are basket-shaped cyclic tetramers, named after the Greek calix ("chalice"). This "book" is actually Volume 19, Nos. 1-4 (1994) of Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Molecular Recognition in Chemistry. It was originally published as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the proposal of a macrocyclic structure for calixarenes (Zinke and Ziegler, Chemische Berichte, Volume 77, p. 264 (1944)). As the editors correctly state, "calixarenes are [now] the basis of many different areas of chemical research occurring at an increasing pace over the past decade in particular."

Although there are a few papers of historical interest in this volume, most of the 25 papers are not reviews, but "ordinary" research contributions which show the wide range of interest in calixarene chemistry. It is not clear if papers were invited or solicited, but I could immediately think of prominent research groups in this field whose work is not represented. The editors accurately claim that this is not intended to be an overview of the field, but rather "a celebration of some of its highlights." A quick search of the literature gave more than 50 papers concerning calixarenes published since these papers were submitted.

As a book, this volume has many shortcomings. As mentioned already, it is not a comprehensive review of the field. It would appear that no one has really edited it, as the writing and especially the diagrams are of uneven quality. Furthermore, the "index", at less than a page (47 entries!) is grossly inadequate. This "book" is published exactly as it was in the journal form: the publisher has even left in the conference diary and, at the date of this writing, all but one of the nine conferences listed have already been held.

The cost of this "book" is very high (Cdn.$ 300), and almost exactly the same as the institutional subscription rate for the journal from which it was reprinted. If your library already receives Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Molecular Recognition in Chemistry, you might wish to alert your librarian that this is a reprint, in order to avoid an unnecessary expenditure. If you are looking for an introduction to the interesting field of calixarene chemistry, I recommend "Calixarenes" by C. David Gutsche (Royal Society of Chemistry, Monographs in Supramolecular Chemistry, 1989).

Mary Anne White, FCIC Dalhousie University
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Author:White, Mary Ann
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1996
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