- Author: Mary Pilon
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- RRP: paperback: $ 24.99
- e-book: $13.99
Most think Monopoly 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 to the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt's famed Brain Trust.
A social history of corporate greed that reveals the cut-throat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like detective fiction, told through Monopoly's real-life winners and losers.