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The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the…

The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's…

by Mary Pilon

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Jumps around too much before settling into the thick of it. I had no idea there was such a detailed and sordid history of the game of Monopoly. I've never owned it, have rarely played it and never really gave much thought to its origins. So it was surprising to find that the game actually has a very interesting history and origins.
Unfortunately I felt the book didn't really work for me. The author dedicates the first part of the book of the various life stories of people: the Parker Brothers, Lizzie Magie (the actual inventor of the game), the professor whose work actually started this whole process, etc. Author Pilon actually begins with the professor first, which totally put me off. While I realize this is a device for some to use as a way of introduction, something about how the chapter was written did not compel me to want to read the rest of the book.
And so it continues.Although Magie herself was quite interesting, the retelling of the complicated origins of the book did not really bear out and as a review on Amazon says, lacks energy. By the time the author gets to the patent fight over the game, my interest in the book had long waned away.
Board game (and especially Monopoly) fans would probably enjoy this book. Otherwise it might not be for a casual reader. Borrowed it from the library and would recommend someone else do the same. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
For anyone that loves Monopoly or inventing.

  kemilyh1988 | Jan 16, 2017 |
Could not Finish. Hard to get into.
  waeschle | Feb 8, 2016 |
From the time it hit stores in the 1930’s, Parker Brothers sold Monopoly with the encouraging backstory of being invented by a Pennsylvania father struggling through the Great Depression. However, many Americans who had played versions of the game before knew the story wasn’t exactly true. Mary Pilon’s upcoming book follows a professor in the 1970’s as he digs back through Monopoly’s past in an effort to sell his own game and set history straight.

At the start of The Monopolists it’s not clear how the story of a modern professor who invented a game called Anti-Monopoly, a creative feminist in the early 20th century and a group of Quakers in Atlantic City would come together, but Mary Pilon weaves their narratives together brilliantly. What could easily be a dry history of a game almost all Americans have played reads like a fresh, page-turning mystery. The Monopolists is every bit as fun as it looks.

More at rivercityreading.com ( )
  rivercityreading | Aug 10, 2015 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | May 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
"Pilon's keen eye for illuminating details, thoughtful digressions, and her sympathy for everyone, including Charles Darrow, make it worthwhile reading."
added by legallypuzzled | editGames World of Puzzles, Raymond Simon (Sep 1, 2015)
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"With its origins rooted in one of the Wall Street Journal's most emailed stories, The Monopolists is the inside story of how the game of Monopoly came into existence, the heavy embellishment of its provenance 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 Americans who play Monopoly think it was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvania man who sold his game to Parker Brothers in 1935 and lived happily ever after on royalties. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, an economist and refugee of Hitler's Danzig, unearthed the real story and it traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and to a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie. The Monopolists is in part Anspach's David-versus-Goliath tale of his 1970s battle against Parker Brothers, one of the most beloved companies of all time. Anspach was a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game, which hailed those who busted up trusts and monopolies instead of those who took control of all the properties. While he and his lawyers researched previous Parker Brothers lawsuits, he accidentally discovered the true history of the game, which began with Magie's Landlord's Game. That game was invented more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly and she waged her own war with Parker Brothers to be credited as the real originator of the game. More than just a book about board games, The Monopolists illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century--a social history of American corporate greed that reads like the best detective fiction, told through the real-life winners and losers in the Monopoly wars"--… (more)

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