1st Edition

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

By Richard J. Sundberg Copyright 2017
    770 Pages 9 Color & 108 B/W Illustrations
    by Apple Academic Press

    770 Pages 9 Color & 108 B/W Illustrations
    by Apple Academic Press

    770 Pages 9 Color & 108 B/W Illustrations
    by Apple Academic Press

    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.



    Explosives and Propellants: Power to Breach Mountains, Wage War, and Visit the Moon

    Structures of Explosives and Propellants

    Production of Explosives and Propellants

    Military Applications of Explosives and Propellants

    Rocket Engines for Space Exploration

    Other Uses of Explosives and Propellants

    Explosives and Terrorism

    Hydrocarbons as Fuels and Petrochemicals: Shaping the Past; Dominating the Present; Complicating the Future

    Petroleum Refining and Processing

    Alternative Sources of Liquid Fuels


    Environmental Consequences of Hydrocarbon Fuel Usage

    Economical, Political, and Ethical Aspects of Fossil Fuel Usage


    The Chemical Industry: An Overview

    Prior to WWI

    From WWI to WWII

    WWII to 1975

    975 –2000

    The International Chemical Industry at the End of the Century

    Origins of the Pharmaceutical Industry

    Halogenated Hydrocarbons: Persistence, Toxicity, and Problems

    Volatile Chlorinated Solvents and Intermediates

    DDT and Other Persistent Halogenated Compounds

    Chlorofluorocarbons and Related Compounds

    Polymers: Making New Materials

    The Nature of Polymers

    Chemically Modified Natural Polymers

    Synthetic Polymers

    Fabrication of Polymers

    Flammability of Fibers, Films and Plastics

    Recycling of Polymers

    Household and Personal Care Products: Cleaning Up and Looking Good

    Surfactant Types

    Household Cleaning Products

    Personal Care Products

    Skin Care


    Advertising of Household and Personal Care Products

    Environmental Effects and Regulation

    Silicones: From Contact Lenses to Pavement Sealants

    Preparation and Properties of Silicones

    Applications of Silicones

    Biomedical Applications of Silicones

    Environmental Issues


    Chemistry and Agriculture: Helping Feed the World




    Environmental and Ecological Effects of Food Production

    Chemistry, Food and the Modern Diet: What’s in Food Besides Food?

    Some Common Food Ingredients

    Sugars and Low-Caloric Sweeteners

    Fats and Oils

    Coffee Decaffeination

    Chemical Basis of Fruit Ripening

    Economics and Politics of Food Processing

    Examples of Processed Foods

    Metabolic Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes

    Vitamins and Nutrition

    Vitamin Deficiency Diseases and the Discovery of the Vitamins

    The Use and Value of Vitamin Supplements

    Dietary Supplements

    Nutritional Consequences of Food Production and Processing


    Drug Discovery, Development, and Distribution

    The Origins of Chemotherapy

    Beginnings of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry

    Drug Discovery and Development

    Regulation, Research, Politics and Public Relations

    The Pharmaceutical Industry

    Antibiotics: The Battle with the Microbes


    Aminoglycosides and Other Anti-Tuberculosis Drugs

    Other Classes of Antibiotics

    Issues for the Future of Antibiotics

    Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Pyretic, and Anesthetic Drugs: Dealing with Pain, Inflammation, and Fever


    Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

    Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitors (Coxibs)

    Acetanilides, Including Phenacetin and Acetaminophen

    Other Analgesic and Anti-Pyretic Drugs

    Morphine and Related Opiates

    Cocaine and Related Structures

    General Anesthetics

    Antihypertensive Drugs: Controlling Blood Pressure

    The Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System

    Drugs for Treatment of Hypertension

    Steroids: Arthritis, Fertility, Heart Attacks, and Home Run Records

    Structure of Steroids

    Corticosteroids and Arthritis

    Steroids in Fertility Control

    Cardiovascular Effects of Steroids

    Steroid Analogs in Cancer Treatment

    Steroid Abuse in Sports

    Endocrine Disruptors; Inadvertent Fertility Modification?

    Diabetes and Anti-Diabetic Therapy: Control of Glucose

    The Discovery and Clinical Introduction of Insulin

    Production and Administration of Insulin

    Diagnosis and Characteristics of Diabetes

    Drugs Used In Treatment of Type-2 Diabetes

    Drugs For Treatment of Neurological and Psychological Conditions

    Early History of Psychoactive Drugs


    Anti-Epilepsy Drugs

    Anti-Psychotic Drugs (Neuroleptics)

    Anti-Anxiety Drugs


    Use and Abuse of Amphetamine and Its Derivatives

    Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

    Social Consequences and Controversies in Treatment of Neurological and Psychological Conditions

    Anti-Malarial and Other Anti-Parasitic Drugs

    Malaria: Etiology, Pathology, Prevention and Treatment




    Lymphatic Filariasis

    Other Helminthic Infections


    Response to the AIDS Pandemic

    Drugs for Treatment of AIDS

    Economic Aspects of AIDS Treatment


    DNA Structure, Sequencing, Synthesis, and Modification: Making Biology Molecular

    Structure of DNA and the Genetic Code

    DNA Sequencing

    Synthesis of DNA

    Manipulation, Modification and Analysis of DNA

    Sequencing the Human Genome

    Applications of Biotechnology: Biology Doing Chemistry

    Examples of Small Molecules Produced by Biotechnology

    Biotechnology in Agriculture

    Genetically Engineered Products for Medicine



    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.

    "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