Ballpoint: A Tale of Genius and Grit, Perilous Times, and the Invention that Changed the Way We Write

3.63 avg rating
( 19 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780982578117: Ballpoint: A Tale of Genius and Grit, Perilous Times, and the Invention that Changed the Way We Write

The triumphs and the trials of the men who invented the modern ballpoint pen as they battled corporate greed, dark eras--and each other.

László Bíró's last name is, in much of the world, a synonym for his revolutionary writing tool. But few people know that Bíró began his career in interwar Budapest as a journalist frustrated with spotty ink; that he escaped fascism by fleeing to Paris and, finally, to Buenos Aires; that a fellow Hungarian, Andor Goy, also played a vital role in the pen's development--and that, in a tragic twist of shared fate, business pressures and politics ultimately deprived both men of their rights to the ballpoint pen. Taking us from Hitler's Europe in 1938, to Argentina, where Bíró settled, and to Communist-era Hungary, where Goy lived out his life, Ballpoint is a painstakingly researched, absorbing narrative that reads simultaneously like a work of history and a novel.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

György Moldova is one of Hungary's most successful—and prolific—writers, and he is respected in particular for his achievements on the nonfiction front. He has earned the Kossuth Prize, Hungary's most prestigious literary honor, and his work has been translated into many languages, including English, German, Russian, and Chinese. He is the only Hungarian author to have achieved sales of 600,000 copies, and he continues to fare well in the country's bestseller lists to this day. Born in 1934, he lives in Budapest with his family. The author lives in Budapest.

Review:

"Mr. Moldova tells this tale of ingenuity and disappointed hopes with considerable verve; his book is a page-turner." -- The Wall Street Journal

"Fascinating. . . . [Ballpoint] cleverly traces the squiggly road of two men . . . who struggled, at first as partners and later as rivals, to invent, manufacture and profit from this most quotidian of writing instruments. . . . There's a deliciously voyeuristic feel to this fast-paced . . . work, as if you're eavesdropping on a family conversation."
--Winnipeg Free Press

"In terms of history-making inventions, the ballpoint pen is no electric light bulb, but its story is far wilder."
--Maclean's

"Ballpoint reads like a fast-paced mystery. Although we know from the start that its technological protagonist--the ballpoint pen--will triumph, we find ourselves repeatedly surprised by the story's unfolding episodes of international intrigue, financial deception, and legal shenanigans."
--Henry Petroski, author of The Pencil and The Essential Engineer

"Part biography, part historical novel, this fascinating book tells the remarkable story of László Bíró and Andor Goy, the two Hungarians who made the first workable ballpoint pen and who, despite the resounding success of their product, earned almost nothing from it."
--John Emsley, author of Molecules of Murder and The Elements of Murder

"The tale of László Bíró and Andor Goy . . . is a wonderful illustration of the role that human passions, foibles, and genius play in shaping the world around us."
--Robert Friedel, author of Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Moldova, Gyoergy
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2012. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VR-9780982578117

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.67
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

MOLDOVA, GYOERGY
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0982578113

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Gyoergy Moldova
Published by New Europe Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New Europe Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The triumphs and the trials of the men who invented the modern ballpoint pen as they battled corporate greed, dark eras--and each other. Laszlo Biro s last name is, in much of the world, a synonym for his revolutionary writing tool. But few people know that Biro began his career in interwar Budapest as a journalist frustrated with spotty ink; that he escaped fascism by fleeing to Paris and, finally, to Buenos Aires; that a fellow Hungarian, Andor Goy, also played a vital role in the pen s development--and that, in a tragic twist of shared fate, business pressures and politics ultimately deprived both men of their rights to the ballpoint pen. Taking us from Hitler s Europe in 1938, to Argentina, where Biro settled, and to Communist-era Hungary, where Goy lived out his life, Ballpoint is a painstakingly researched, absorbing narrative that reads simultaneously like a work of history and a novel. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780982578117

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Gyoergy Moldova
Published by New Europe Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New Europe Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The triumphs and the trials of the men who invented the modern ballpoint pen as they battled corporate greed, dark eras--and each other. Laszlo Biro s last name is, in much of the world, a synonym for his revolutionary writing tool. But few people know that Biro began his career in interwar Budapest as a journalist frustrated with spotty ink; that he escaped fascism by fleeing to Paris and, finally, to Buenos Aires; that a fellow Hungarian, Andor Goy, also played a vital role in the pen s development--and that, in a tragic twist of shared fate, business pressures and politics ultimately deprived both men of their rights to the ballpoint pen. Taking us from Hitler s Europe in 1938, to Argentina, where Biro settled, and to Communist-era Hungary, where Goy lived out his life, Ballpoint is a painstakingly researched, absorbing narrative that reads simultaneously like a work of history and a novel. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780982578117

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Gyoergy Moldova
Published by New Europe Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New Europe Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The triumphs and the trials of the men who invented the modern ballpoint pen as they battled corporate greed, dark eras--and each other. Laszlo Biro s last name is, in much of the world, a synonym for his revolutionary writing tool. But few people know that Biro began his career in interwar Budapest as a journalist frustrated with spotty ink; that he escaped fascism by fleeing to Paris and, finally, to Buenos Aires; that a fellow Hungarian, Andor Goy, also played a vital role in the pen s development--and that, in a tragic twist of shared fate, business pressures and politics ultimately deprived both men of their rights to the ballpoint pen. Taking us from Hitler s Europe in 1938, to Argentina, where Biro settled, and to Communist-era Hungary, where Goy lived out his life, Ballpoint is a painstakingly researched, absorbing narrative that reads simultaneously like a work of history and a novel. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780982578117

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Moldova, Gyoergy; Evans, David Robert [Translator]
Published by New Europe Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
eBooksNorthshore
(Mandeville, LA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New Europe Books, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Excellent Trade PB: NEW, May have very light, normal shelf edge wear; Most intl arrive 4-10 business days. Choose Expedited or 2 day for faster delivery. Bookseller Inventory # 917040333

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Moldova, Gyoergy
Published by New Europe Books
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description New Europe Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0982578113 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2132161372

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

David Evans; Gyoergy Moldova
Published by New Europe Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description New Europe Books, 2012. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # TH9780982578117

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.52
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Gyorgy Moldova
Published by Neb, Massachuetts (2012)
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Soft Cover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
GOOD OLD BOOKS
(Barrie, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Neb, Massachuetts, 2012. Soft Cover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # W15W05

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.99
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

David Evans
Published by NEW EUROPE BOOKS
ISBN 10: 0982578113 ISBN 13: 9780982578117
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description NEW EUROPE BOOKS. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9780982578117

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book