Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game--And How It Got That Way” as Want to Read:
Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game--And How It Got That Way
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game--And How It Got That Way

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Over 200,000,000 copies of the Monopoly(r) game have been sold worldwide since Parker Brothers first popularized it in 1935, making it the world's most popular proprietary game. Countless special and national editions of the game are now published in over sixty countries. But while Monopoly has global appeal, it is distinctly American--a symbol of America's system of ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published October 23rd 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Monopoly, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Monopoly

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Michael Haydel
Aug 28, 2009 Michael Haydel rated it really liked it
Monopoly is another one of those books that I really love reading, as it falls into the category otherwise known as "monohistories". Basically, the biography of a singular item. I've read many of these types of books (salt, coffee, etc), and I always enjoy seeking them out.

What makes Monopoly, the book, interesting is to read about life before Monopoly, the game. There were numerous incarnations of money/property related games that all had the intention of imparting on the player a sense of what
Raza Syed
May 05, 2014 Raza Syed rated it liked it
The history of Monopoly
Interesting read. It traces the life and development of the game, the people involved and their relationships and dynamics. The tale of Monopoly is interwoven with the major events taking place in the 20th century - how the allies used monopoly boards to smuggle 'escape tools' to the POWs in NAzI camps during WW2.
The tale goes from the birth (The Landlord's Game) to the current versions of the monopoly. The book is well researched and well written. If the author would hav
Feb 07, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic book! Part history, part economics, part business, part game-playing. There was just the right amount of all of this that I felt I understood how the game developed and why it thrived.

The depth of research was incredible. And like so many things that have withstood the test of time, it is interesting to note that this game was rejected a number of times before it was finally given the opportunity to sit of the store shelves. It speaks to the creators' perseverence that it di
Brent Mair
Jul 27, 2014 Brent Mair rated it really liked it
Loved the history, which is much of the book. Less interested in the collection stories at the end. Overall, quite interesting.
Feb 05, 2015 Nathaniel rated it it was ok
Eh. It's an extended commercial for Monopoly written by a senior executive at Hasbro (nee Parker Brothers) who ended up as "Monopoly historian" as a side project. I don't doubt the author's passion for the game, but the book itself is uneven and its structure is questionable. The author's grasp of American and world history other than that directly pertaining to Monopoly is often lacking, and he seems to be going out of his way to distort various small incidents that the game played throughout ...more
Sep 30, 2011 Jon rated it liked it
An interesting history on Monopoly and even made me want to play the game (with the actual rules) again. Given the many painful experiences with Monopoly, that's saying something.[return][return]However, the high point of the book is the early history. The end of the book lacks a bit of the charm of the beginning. I wish it had ended with the description of contests as the final chapter on Monopoly collectors bored me more than anything else. It's hard to peg exactly why I didn't like it, but it ...more
Sarah Whitney
Mar 17, 2009 Sarah Whitney rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, a-gift, own, 2009
This was a pretty good book. Definitely an awesome book (higher rating) for those really into Monopoly or game-history.

My godfather gave me this book because he and I have played Monopoly together since my first visit to their home in West Virginia when I was fourteen.

Our most recent game was when I drove to visit them in their New Hampshire home in 2004. Our inside joke is that he always accuses me of cheating when I "steal" the lead.

Overall the book was an interesting insight to the story b
Jul 14, 2010 Ensiform rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, gaming
From the turn of the last century, when Elizabeth Magie patented her Monopoly-like Landlord’s Game, to the 2006 Mega Edition, Orbanes chronicles the story of Parker Brothers’ biggest and most perennial hit. Paralleling the story of the board game with American financial and political history, he chronicles the appeal of the game from the Depression, through the Cold War, the excesses of the Eighties and beyond.

One of the biggest surprises this book reveals to the casual Monopoly player is that C
Jan 19, 2016 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give it a generous three stars because there is definately the material and brilliant idea for a book, it just was not assembled well. The author throws too many unecessary individuals into the story, creating a lot of chaos and confusion as so many names pop in and out of the story line. Also, the second page of every chapter has these weird illustrations and graphics, it's distracting. Finally, while it was a noble effort to make a case that Monopoly somehow impacted every American President ...more
Gordon Zane
Jul 01, 2011 Gordon Zane rated it liked it
This history of the board game Monopoly follows the games development through multiple manufacturers and creators, until the game takes the shape we know today.

The best parts of the book are the tangents about history and history that put the game in context, although a few tend to wander off. Half a page devoted to The Beatles "Revolution #9" is especially pointless and grating.

The book drags a little toward the end, especially once the author begins to talk about tournaments and strategy, but
Jul 27, 2011 Ernest rated it liked it
This was a fun and informative book that outlined the history of Monopoly. As a fan of this board game, it was interesting to see how the game developed. Of particular interest are descriptions of old rules and pictures of Monopoly’s predecessors. The author’s interest in this board game is clear and translates to a fun and easy read.
Jan 10, 2015 Jason rated it liked it
Monopoly, will be celebrating its 80th birthday in 2015. The book is an overview of the history the game, starting with its predecessors, that were hand made and played in economics classrooms, until the game finally was released - the book also covers the various economics of the decades that influenced the game as it grew in popularity
Dec 17, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History buffs and game lovers
A fantastic look at a great game. The author presents a fascinating history, dating back before the depression. The reader also gets a look at the interworkings of game publication and development. The final chapters revolve around world tournaments and strategies. I love Monopoly, and this was an exciting book for me. Highly recommended.
Nov 04, 2007 Trebro rated it it was ok
Only really good for game geeks, not that that's a bad thing. This is my typical 2-star book, only for those interested in the subject. See my review here:
Nov 07, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
Interesting read about Monopoly's complex origins and various revisions over the course of the 20th century. Lots of pictures. For serious Monopoly fans only. Includes appendices of original rules, as well as rules of some affiliated games.
Oct 20, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
There was more to this book than just the history of Monopoly. I also learned some economic history of the US in the 20th century. The book made me want to play Monopoly more. :)
Dan rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2015
John Randolph
Oct 10, 2013 John Randolph rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
Everything you ever wanted to know about how the game became so popular.
April rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2014
Bethany Nelson
Bethany Nelson rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2015
Gabe rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2012
Rosemarie Brizak
Rosemarie Brizak rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2014
Kim Ramsey coate
Kim Ramsey coate rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2016
Aaron Toch
Aaron Toch rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2013
Craig Cottingham
Craig Cottingham rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2010
Mark rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2012
John rated it really liked it
May 22, 2012
Anthony rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2013
Marls rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet
  • Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads
  • All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release
  • The Dance of Time: The Origins of the Calendar: A Miscellany of History and Myth, Religion and Astronomy, Festivals and Feast Days
  • Supercade: A Visual History Of The Videogame Age, 1971 1984
  • Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies + Bystanders
  • Sports Illustrated The Baseball Book
  • The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain Between the Wars
  • Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper
  • Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them
  • Aristocrats: Power, Grace, and Decadence: Britain's Great Ruling Classes from 1066 to the Present
  • Sexually, I'm More of a Switzerland: More Personal Ads from the London Review of Books
  • Just Don't Call Me Ma'am: How I Ditched the South, Forgot My Manners, and Managed to Survive My Twenties with (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact
  • Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence
  • I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World
  • Team Dog: How to Train Your Dog--the Navy SEAL Way
  • Dangerous Space
  • Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend--and to Living Life Like a Rock Star

Share This Book