The only people who will enjoy reading The Monopolists are people who love the game Monopoly. That unquestionably includes me. I love Monopoly. And I mean love. My sister, Andrea, and I play marathon games for hours which are made more enjoyable by our twist on the rules that allow us to hoard money. Believe me, I know how dorky it is that I wanted to read this book, but I had to learn the background of my favorite board game, and was pretty impressed by the scandal behind it.
I had no idea that early versions of Monopoly existed as early as the 1880’s. Given the lengthy span of time the story of Monopoly’s creation covers, I was surprised that the author was able to uncover as much history as she did. I liked hearing about how the came evolved over time as people throughout the country put their own spin on the rules by pushing the objective to reward greed. As these people derived hours of enjoyment from the game, it became well loved, until finally Charles Darrow wrongfully claimed to have invented the game and sold it to Parker Brothers. At that point, their story of greed eclipsed any game player’s.
Darrow’s false claim was obvious to those who had played the game with him, and taught him the rules! Of course, with a hit game in their collection, it didn’t take much for Parker Brothers to help in the cover up by swindling the true creator, feminist Elizabeth Magie.
At times, it felt like the author was providing too much information about each person who touched the board. Her passion for the game and for uncovering the true made this an emotionally charged book that was enjoyable to read. I also loved the photos of the earlier board games!
I was dying to pull out my copy of the famous game and take a spin around the board to pay homage to everyone who helped create the fantastic game!