From Coello to Inorganic Chemistry: A Lifetime of Reactions
From boyhood in the coal-mining village of Coello, Illinois, to winning the Priestly Medal and becoming the president of the American Chemical Society, Professor Emeritus Fred Basolo of Northwestern University traces the intertwined development of his life, career, and the field of inorganic chemistry. With over a hundred photographs and dozens of structures and equations, From Coello to Inorganic Chemistry details the major innovations, travels, family life, and guests hosted while helping to build one of the world's leading inorganic chemistry departments from its humble beginnings at Northwestern University. Students and chemists with interests in bioinorganic chemistry, catalysis, nanoscience, new materials research, and organometallics can follow the emergence of inorganic chemistry as a rival to organic chemistry through the accomplishments of one of its most influential pioneers.
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From Coello to Inorganic Chemistry is an autobiography of Fred Basolo’s life journey in which he experienced the many advances and changes that Inorganic Chemistry had gone through. The book was intended for any chemist interested in the history of Inorganic Chemistry. The point of the book is to tell of the amazing progress Inorganic Chemistry had gone through during Fred Basolo’s professional career. He lived during a time when Inorganic Chemistry was just growing because not too much of this area had been discovered yet. After the 1950’s, he explains the amazing research done on this field to help it progress and gain popularity. In a sense, Fred Basolo did accomplish his goal by telling the world in this book the fantastic people and growth in Inorganic Chemistry during his lifetime. The author was able to successfully complete his research on a few compounds, but not all of them.
Fred Basolo wrote this book with much clearness, adding side notes for additional information that the reader may not know off-hand. I obviously didn’t understand every single thing that he was talking about because there is much of chemistry that I haven’t learned about, so I can’t reminisce on the concept. Even if someone had no advance knowledge of chemistry, he or she could appreciate the autobiography itself because it also goes into great detail about Basolo’s travels and social life. For someone majoring in chemistry, this book should be no problem to read and comprehend. Fred Basolo does state different points of view in this book. He was able to offer a chemist from Harvard some advice to yield a certain product since the chemist was having a hard time with his own possible solutions. Basolo also states that another Chemist should’ve won a Nobel Prize, but wasn’t given the credit he deserved. Basolo’s
different perspective is very reasonable, so it is very acceptable.
The best part of this book is reading how Fred Basolo, growing up in a very poor family in Illinois, becomes famous and travels throughout the world while maintaining a very good social and educational status. He grew up slightly differently than other children, but he went to
school normally and did activities like other children. The author himself was a very good Inorganic Chemist, considering the fact that many people wanted his attention. Despite my lack of knowledge of Inorganic Chemistry, I know that Basolo knew what he was talking about in the
book involving the many chemistry concepts that he mentioned. I really don’t know how the book can be improved because, once again, my lack of chemistry knowledge prevents me from fully comprehending what Basolo is talking about. I would recommend this book to either a freshman in college or a chemist deciding which field of chemistry he or she should go into. Basolo seems to have written this book in a tone that tries to seduce the reader into entering the field of Inorganic Chemistry. This book would also make for a good reference for chemistry history report because it tells the time period in which many people discovered concepts that greatly improved our current knowledge of this subject.
This book shouldn’t be kept on file for next year’s chemistry class because everyone in my class seems to have chosen the easiest book they could find, and this book is by no means easy. I can guarantee that no student will chose this book next year for his book report. The
library shouldn’t have this book because once again, nobody would read it. This book goes on about details that even AP Chemistry doesn’t and will not cover. For me, this book was very useful for me. I was able to do a book report on this difficult book, but the autobiography part
balanced out with the complicated information that I read. The book was very interesting overall because I never thought that chemists were this connected until I read this book. I also have a better of what inorganic chemistry is now, and how it can be implemented in this world.