This edition retains both the underlying philosophy and the overall structure of its predecessor. The emphasis is on fundamental, universal principles, which apply across a wide range of macromolecular systems. The text is intended for students in a variety of fields, especially those identified above, with the assumption of prior courses in organic and physical chemistry. Important mathematical relations are almost all derived in detail, although of course the derivations can be by-passed on a first reading. Necessary concepts from other fields, such as statistics and probability, thermodynamics, wave propagation, and mechanics of fluids and solids, are introduced as needed.

The text is suitable for a full year, graduate-level course, but may be used for semester long courses by emphasizing subsections. It can also be used for upper-level undergraduate courses, with appropriate omissions. After an introductory chapter, there are three blocks of four chapters, emphasizing synthesis, solution properties, and bulk properties, respectively.

While clarifications and minor edits have been made throughout, the major changes in this edition are as follows:
• The number of homework problems has been greatly increased, to over 350 in all.
• The worked examples and figures have been augmented.
• More examples of relevant synthetic chemistry have been introduced into Chapter 2 (“Step-Growth Polymers”).
• More details about atom-transfer radical polymerization and reversible addition/fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization have been added to Chapter 4 (“Controlled Polymerization”).
• Chapter 7 (renamed “Thermodynamics of Polymer Mixtures”) now features a separate section on thermodynamics of polymer blends.
• Chapter 8 (still called “Light Scattering by Polymer Solutions”) has been supplemented with an extensive introduction to small-angle neutron scattering.

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