For generations, Monopoly has been America’s favorite board game, a love letter to unbridled capitalism and — for better or worse — the impulses that make our free-market society tick. But behind the myth of the game’s creation is an untold tale of theft, obsession and corporate double-dealing. Contrary to the folksy legend spread by Parker Brothers, Monopoly’s secret history is a surprising saga that features a radical feminist, a community of Quakers in Atlantic City, America’s greatest game company, and an unemployed Depression-era engineer. And the real story behind the creation of the game might never have come to light if it weren’t for the determination of an economics professor and impassioned anti-monopolist.
Part detective story, part sharp social commentary and part pop-culture celebration, RUTHLESS: MONOPOLY’S SECRET HISTORY presents the fascinating true story behind America’s favorite game.
RUTHLESS: MONOPOLY’S SECRET HISTORY premieres on PBS and the PBS app Monday, February 20, 2023 at 9/8 central.