This book makes use of twenty-five representative examples to retrace the great accomplishments made by the generation of chemists during this era. At the same time, it questions the reliability of the experimental results when judged by today's criteria, particularly since the structures for numerous natural products are stated as established facts in standard text books.
With each chapter devoted to one organic compound, the author combines results from historic experiments to trace a line of evidence that may follow the path put forward by the original contributors. However, in some cases the experimental facts have been combined to form another, hopefully shorter, line of evidence. As a result, readers are able to determine for themselves the 'facts behind the established structure assignments' of a number of important natural products.