Although it is most often taught as a dry subject devoid of major controversy or character, organic chemistry has a truly colorful history. My own interests in the history of organic chemistry are in the contributions of Russsian organic chemists to the development of the science. Despite the fact that most students and teachers of organic chemistry tend to credit the major advances in the discipline to the German chemists (Kekulé, Liebig, Wöhler, Baeyer, and their ilk), many major advances were made by Russian organic chemists, whose names have also passed into the vocabulary of the science.

Some major Russian contributors to modern organic chemistry include:

My own special interests are the chemists of the Kazan' School of Chemistry, among whose luminaries are Zinin, Butlerov, Markovnikov, Zaitsev, Vagner, Reformatskii, and Arbuzov.