The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game's questionable origins.
Most think it was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression in 1935 and lived happily - and richly - ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord's Game more than 30 years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game - underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today - was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt's famed Brain Trust.
A fascinating social history of corporate greed that illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like the best detective fiction, told through Monopoly's real-life winners and losers.
"Pilon invests this surprisingly contentious chronicle with a dynamic mix of journalistic knowledge and subtle wit... A fascinating, appealingly written history of an iconic American amusement." (Kirkus Reviews)
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Interesting and fun (but BADLY read)
I would probably recommend the book instead of the audiobook. Loved the story but the narrator really made it difficult to listen to.
I loved the story of Lizzie McGee and her major contribution to the board game market. She was far ahead of her time--fascinating, smart and interesting. I would have loved to have met her.
Sean Runnette would have been fantastic--he is my favorite. There are many others, too, who would have done a better job.
Sorensen sounds like a robot--he elongates the last word of every sentence.
I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks, and I only listen to nonfiction. I don't want the reader to be dramatic or "act out" the story, but a narrator who gives some character to the story via his or her delivery makes a difference.
Maybe, but to read not listen.
This really is an interesting story of a beloved board game and its place in history. I was very surprised at how interesting it was, and how much drama surrounded the game in its early days.
- Kate M.
Newcaster Type Narration of a Fascinating Story