George Britton, Synnl/Jve Liaaen-Jensen and Hanspeter Pfander This book, Volume 2 in the series Carotenoids, is the first book to be published that is devoted entirely to the total synthesis of carotenoids, but it is timely in view of the rapid development and the growing diversification of the carotenoid field. The 1971 Carotenoids book contained a major chapter of 250 pages on total synthesis by H. Mayer and O. Isler. That comprehensive and authoritative review described systematically the construction of many synthons and the synthesis of many natural and unnatural carotenoids and related compounds. Twenty five years on, that chapter remains an essential reference work and source of information, with its extensive collection of tabulated data and lists of references to the original literature. Surveys of progress since 1971 have been presented at the IUPAC International Symposia on Carotenoids and are included in the published proceedings of these symposia. The history of major publications in the carotenoid field, leading to the development of this series, was outlined in the preface to the series published in Vol. IA. The general philo sophy outlined in that preface, with emphasis on practical guidance and the inclusion of worked examples of some of the most useful procedures, is maintained in Vol. 2. In kceping with this philosophy, Vol. 2 is not intended to be an exhaustive review of the literature, but is planned as a practical book, as well as a source of information.