This comprehensive introductory text thoroughly explains basic biochemical concepts while offering a unified presentation of the field and its development. Emphasizes biochemistry as a body of knowledge compiled through experimentation; stresses the unity of life and its variation through evolution and the ways in which biological processes are organized into interdependent networks. Also examines medical applications of biochemical knowledge, identifying some of the major contributors to the field and approaches they have taken to solve important biochemical puzzles. Contains excellent art, carefully planned for pedagogical impact, including illustrations by Irving Geis. Current, extensive references and creative problem sets are also included.