The Skylark of Space by Doc Smith by E. E. "Doc" Smith, Lee Hawkins Garby
THE SKYLARK OF SPACE is the first book in the Skylark series and pits the hero, Dick Seaton, against Marc DuQuesne. The story is not only in the technology, although there is a lot of that, but in the contrast in characters of Seaton and DuQuesne. Seaton is the honest scientist, making his discoveries for the good of mankind, and sharing knowledge and cooperating with other like-minded people. DuQuesne is in it only for himself and he will go to any lengths to ensure that he gets what he wants and wins in the end.