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"Can Munowitz write or what!" exclaimed one advance reviewer of this extraordinary new text.Read a few pages, and you'll see what all the excitement is about. Intended primarily for college freshmen, this exceptionally lucid, carefully paced, elegantly designed, well-illustrated volume will appeal to curious readers of any age who want to know more about the innermost workings of the "central science." In the words of another advance reviewer, the Munowitz book "reveals the beauty of chemistry in an unusual, graceful, narrative style. Compared with standard textbooks, it is poetic." This book is unusual in several respects. Perhaps the most obvious, at first glance, is the distinctive pattern of white and gray stripes that appear when you view its pages edge-on. The striped pattern is a superficial manifestation of a novel's internal structure. Unlike a standard chemistry textbook, in which each chapter is fragmented into a hodgepodge of disparate parts--text, boxed features, worked exercises, solved and unsolved problems, in-chapter and end-of-chapter summaries, miscellaneous decorative elements-- each chapter in Principles of Chemistry has a much simpler organization: an uninterrupted narrative core (white pages), followed by a Review and Guide to Problems section (gray pages). In short: principles first, then practice. The tutorial, problem-solving sections at the ends of the chapters amount, in effect, to a built-in study guide, thus obviating the need for a separate volume of this type. In addition, the long run of predominantly white pages at the back of the book consists, for the most part, of an unusually complete set of appendices devoted to such important matters as nomenclature, mathematics, assorted tables, and a glossary. Taken just by themselves, then, the white pages that constitute the first, narrative parts of the book's 21 chapters add up to a fairly modest-sized book-within-a-book-- at least by comparison with other texts for the introductory general chemistry course. And what a book it is! As the reviewers' comments quoted elsewhere attest, the novel intrachapter organization of the Munowitz text contributes to another of this book's distinctive features: its remarkably coherent "story line." The main driving force here, though, is the extraordinary power and clarity of the author's writing by far the most remarked-upon special attribute of this book. Just crack it open anywhere and start reading, and you'll see what all the fuss is about.