The Diels-Alder reaction has long been a powerful tool in organic synthesis. In recent years, the Alder ene reaction has also achieved some prominence. From the beginning, it was apparent that the intramolecular variants of these reactions would be feasible. Many such have been reported, but the results are widely scattered in the chemical literature. This volume is an attempt to synthesize results observed to date, and to suggest directions for future development. One of the limiting factors in the application of the intramolecular Diels- Alder reaction has been the development of methods for the preparation of the requisite trienes. The fIrst chapter of this volume summarizes methods for the preparation of dienes and dienophiles. Examples representative of every general approach to 1,3-dienes and to dienophilic functional group combinations have been included. There are two questions one might ask in considering the prospective cyclization of a given triene: what are the factors that govern the rate of cyclization? and, for cyclizations that lead to the creation of one or more new chiral centers, what are the factors that govern diastereoselectivity? These questions are addressed in Chapter Two. The third chapter is devoted to the all-carbon intramolecular Alder ene reaction. The tables in that chapter summarize all examples that could be found in the literature through 1981, with several additional examples from 1982. Leading references to heterocyclic ene reactions are also included in this chapter.
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