Braving The Elements
University Science Books, Apr 13, 1995 - Science - 418 pages
An ideal primer for those who wish to improve their scientificliteracy, this book is beautifully written and especiallyrecommended for high school and undergraduate nonmajor sciencecourses. Amply illustrated chapters on chemical bonding,biochemistry, cancer, and the atmosphere are interspersed withsuch chapters as "The Alchemist's Dream,""Newsworthy Molecules" and "WallStreetChemistry." To facilitate this book's use in the classroom,a complete set of problems and sample exams are available fromthe publisher.
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Critique: Braving the Elements
1a) What is the topic of your book?
The topic of Braving the Elements by Harry B. Gary is a focus on the elements and periodic table as well as their history. This book discusses such things as when chemistry was first created and important discoveries and people who expanded our knowledge of the chemical world.
1b) Who is the intended audience?
It is stated during the introduction of the book that this is a beginner’s book on chemistry. This is for people only just coming to terms with the basics and fundamentals of the topic. Because of this, the book continuously builds on information given in previous chapters.
2a) What is the point of the book?
The major goal of this book is to introduce chemistry in a way that is not overloading or blurred. It doesn’t use special vocabulary that a novice wouldn’t understand. It also aims to strengthen the reader’s knowledge of the elements and periodic table.
2b) Does the author accomplish his/her goal?
I feel that Mr. Gary succeeds in relaying the information without any immense strain on the reader.
3) How well was the book written?
This book was well written most of the time. There were no grammar errors that I picked up and sentences fit together most of the time.
4) Does the author consider other points of view?
Due to the nature of this book as one covering the indisputable dogma of chemistry, there a really no opposing viewpoints that could have been related.
5a) What was the best part of the book?
My favorite parts of the book were where the author elaborated on certain important people or discoveries because it was easier to grasp and relate to the rest of the world at the time.
5b) What did the author do well?
The author was able to follow up some of the not so interesting sections with articles or ideas that recaptured the reader’s attention.
5c) How could the book be improved?
In my opinion, much of the book was too repetitive but it is possible that this is purposely done to hammer in the facts.
6a) To whom do you recommend this book?
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to prepare early for studying chemistry. It certainly covers the basics and would make the first few classes easier.
This would prepare you for class because you would have already started learning the material that will be covered.
The Periodic Table
0n to Nuclear Chemistry
Nuclear Chemistry and Radioactive Decay
Inorganic Polymers Glasses and Ceramics
The Chemical Basis of Evolution and Disease
Sun Tans Sunblocks and LightSensitive
Bonds in Metals
Solvents and Solubility
Fragrances and Flavors
Molecules of War
Applications of AcidBase Chemistry