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No single volume, certainly not a textbook, can come close to including all of the important topics in inorganic chemistry. The fi eld is simply too broad in scope and it is growing at a rapid pace. Inorganic chemistry textbooks refl ect a great deal of work and the results of the many choices that authors must make as to what to include and what to leave out. Writers of textbooks in chemistry bring to the task backgrounds that refl ect their research interests, the schools they attended, and their personalities. In their writing, authors are really saying “this is the fi eld as I see it.“

In these regards, this book is similar to others. When teaching a course in inorganic chemistry, certain core topics are almost universally included. In addition, there are numerous peripheral areas that may be included at certain schools but not at others depending on the interests and specialization of the person teaching the course. The course content may even change from one semester to the next. The effort to produce a textbook that presents coverage of a wide range of optional material in addition to the essential topics can result in a textbook for a one semester course that contains a thousand pages.
Even a “concise” inorganic chemistry book can be nearly this long. This book is not a survey of the literature or a research monograph. It is a textbook that is intended to provide the background necessary for the reader to move on to those more advanced resources. In writing this book, I have attempted to produce a concise textbook that meets several objectives. First, the topics included were selected in order to provide essential information in the major areas of inorganic chemistry (molecular structure, acid-base chemistry, coordination chemistry, ligand fi eld theory, solid state chemistry, etc.).

These topics form the basis for competency in inorganic chemistry at a level commensurate with the one semester course taught at most colleges and universities. When painting a wall, better coverage is assured when the roller passes over the same area several times from different directions. It is the opinion of the author that this technique works well in teaching chemistry. Therefore, a second objective has been to stress fundamental principles in the discussion of several topics. For example, the hard-soft interaction principle is employed in discussion of acid-base chemistry, stability of complexes, solubility, and predicting reaction products.
Third, the presentation of topics is made with an effort to be clear and concise so that the book is portable and user friendly. This book is meant to present in convenient form a readable account of the essentials of inorganic chemistry that can serve as both as a textbook for a one semester course upper level course and as a guide for self study. It is a textbook not a review of the literature or a research monograph. There are few references to the original literature, but many of the advanced books and monographs are cited. Although the material contained in this book is arranged in a progressive way, there is fl exibility in the order of presentation.
For students who have a good grasp of the basic principles of quantum mechanics and atomic structure, Chapters 1 and 2 can be given a cursory reading but not included in the required course material. The chapters are included to provide a resource for review and self study. Chapter 4 presents an overview structural chemistry early so the reader can become familiar with many types of inorganic structures before taking up the study of symmetry or chemistry of specifi c elements. Structures of inorganic solids are discussed in Chapter 7, but that material could easily be studied before Chapters 5 or 6.