Herbicide selectivity is the key to chemical weed control, which makes the first book on this subject very welcome. At first sight, the scope of the contents is wider than the title suggests. The chapters (their lengths in relation to the book are given in parentheses) are: weed populations and their control (6%), aspects of plant physiology (14%), herbicide metabolism in plants (42%), genetic resistance to herbicides (6%), improved resistance through genetic engineering (6%), mycoherbicides (3%), and allelochemicals as herbicides (6%). Two useful appendices and the index complete the book. Thus, more than half of the book is devoted to the molecular mechanisms which are described in the chapter on herbicide metabolism and in the two chapters on resistance. Chapters 6 and 7 could have been omitted because they go beyond the scope of the book’s title. Better agreement between content and title could also have been achieved by paring down the two introductory chapters; the first to an introduction on herbicide selectivity, and the second by omitting the details on the translocation and uptake of various herbicides. However, a section on the mode of action of these herbicides should have been included. The arguments for the ‘overriding importance of herbicide metabolism to selectivity (p. 33) are not convincing. In various cases uptake and translocation of herbicides are more relevant than metabolism to their selectivity, whereas physical differences in availability of a herbicide to various plant species determine its selectivity in other circumstances.