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tv   Book Discussion on The Monopolists  CSPAN  April 1, 2015 3:20am-3:55am EDT

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group. and so it often does depend upon the kind of knowledge of the truth that one wants to pass into and being able to mimic that behavior so that they are believable as a member of that group. and so that is allowing them end
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up he says i think that that is a milan terrace, which is the term that they used at the time and the father just looks at him and says okay, that is actually not true. he looks at him in such indignity. but of course it's because of his stature. it is because of the way and
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she's doing things that white women do. she is a homemaker. and it is all of these things that make her story believable. the same as with lm it is the thing that she does that makes are believable as a white man that otherwise she would not be able to pass. so in terms of originality i definitely think that there were more opportunities to pass in the south. particularly in the antebellum period. just because there was more racial mixture and also because there was a much larger black population in the south during that time.
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and because it was so large it has to be larger than that. and it has to be about 90% of blacks and so there would have been more passion in the south during a period of time. because there would have been more racial mixture during that time. and there are a lot of people coming and going in a very transient population. what i really want to show is that it happened everywhere.
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it happened in new hampshire that it's not just the places that we kind of would expect or assume that you would find this actually could happen really anywhere. but thank you so much. i will have to get up more now and thank you for telling me that. >> doctor, my question is, due to restrictions were there stories that you have to leave behind and my dissertation advisor who is a really eminent historian it was kind of we sort of had a joke about it. where there was a story that i
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just absolutely loved you know, and he be like i know you love it but you have to get to the stories that prove this argument and really make your point. and there are times where interesting stories one story about a man named harry as murphy and he's very light skinned, he applied for a program, to be part of the navy, kind of like a predecessor to the rotc. when he goes he meets with the registrar and this happens a lot in the military because someone
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is looking at something else and they are making a decision based on their own understanding of race still anxiously part of this. so he is sent to the old west, this is 19 -- is there in the 1940s. basically this is a moment where they are priding themselves over 100 years of being this really why university and here is kerry murphy and he's having the time of his life, he is dancing with white women, he is running on the track team and he even participates in a protest
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against theodore bilbo who was the fanatic segregationist to calm the cutest bear. i think that part of it was in 1944 and 1945. you know he is described by people as being arrogant, a loud talker, it's not like you trying to keep a low profile. he's like ,-com,-com ma i am here, i'm going to have the time of my life as a student at ole miss. interestingly when james meredith tries to integrate old men. saying that they are fighting a battle but they have no idea that they lost and they have great pictures of him holding his student id card and he would
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go deeply into his story and i would love that. that is just one example of a lot of stories that i wanted to mention briefly that i would have love to say more about. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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>> in 1935. >> so what the plan is i will talk a little about the history of the game and open it up to question and answer so i am not just hamming and you can get insight on hopefully what you think is useful. most people are familiar with
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the red hotels greenhouses and mr. monopoly. most people saying parker brothers. the idea is at america's darkest hour he makes this game and puts the houses on atlanta boulevard for a happier time. you can see the monopoly patton looks like what we know as monopoly today. tokens, board, property. this version of the story has been on the website for years. some people believe daro was the inspiration for early characters. the only story is not true.
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it started out originally with lizzie magie. she had a patton for a type writer gadget and was an outspoken feminist and had views on this. this is before women could vote. her father was james mcgee who wasn't just a newspaper owner but travelled with lincoln during the lincoln-douglas debates and was around for the founding of the republican party. lizzie magie had appeared on stage as well and wrote short stories and a book of poetry as well. she was very impacted by this man henry george. i am sure people in this room know about henry george but a lot don't. the short version is he was a ponent of single tax theory and he had an idea if you only tax land the working class has a
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better shot at equality. he writes a book progress and equality and it is a massive best-seller. you can read about people packing hall do is hear him speak and lizzie magie is moved by this. here is the patton for the 1904 landlord's game. she applied in 1903 and received it in 1904. the idea of taking to a board game for a teaching tool might seem strange but in her day it made sense. they were becoming cheaper to manufacture and politicians were talking about the fight for leisure time and child labor laws improving and lighting all
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day helped fuel the demand for did go board games. she was concerned with land usage. she makes the game and it spreads like wildfar in the east. on the far left, rex tugwell was one of the monopoly players. and you have ernest angel who was a national chair of man of the new yorker. scott nearing plays the game. he was professor at warton who was involved in an important academic freedom case. some say he started the green movement. ardin delaware is a single tax
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colony where the game flourished. upton sinclair's house in ardin was called the jungelo and there was a sex scandal that took place but maybe that is another presentation. it was played everywhere harvard and so on. in 1924 she renews the patton. it continues to spread. she spent time in chicago so you can see the loop and chicago properties on there. and one of the groups that embraces monopoly as a game is a quakers of atlantic city. this is a quaker monopoly night. they had wooden boards people made on their own and they would add properties for whatever city they were in. philadelphia and boston and this was an atlantic city version of the game. we have an atlantic city board.
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this is charles todd board and you look as this compared to the lizzie magie game the similarities become closer and closer. charles todd lives in philadelphia and learns the game from friends in atlantic city. we runs into the friends and says come over and we will have a monopoly tide. so the darrens and the todds have marketplace -- monopoly. after the game he asked for a copy of the rules. he does it even though it is odd. charles todd's secretary types up the rules. let's go to parker brothers in the '30s. in the mid-1930s it was a firm in crises. no body was buying anything.
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george parking founded the firm in the 1880's and it wasn't looking good. his son in law who is second from the left just took over at parker brothers and he was a lawyer by training and very little gaming experience. he needed a solution and needed it fast. darryl starts selling the monopoly game. this place is still in philly. if you were a fan of "manequin of "manequin "that is where it was shot. this is a picture of barton and he is older here. but they strike up a deal that will buy the games. monopoly is a best seller and the story of it being invented
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during the great depression is a huge part of the publicity for the game. they made a game called bowls and bears that didn't sell well. there was never a board game creation story like this story and he is giving interviews and press everywhere. one of the things they need to do is make tokens. parker brothers caused on doust manufacture who makes cracker jack prizes. a lot of the token you can see have loops because they were originally made as charms. even beyond the cracking jack prize situation if you were a company like a flat iron company you might give customers an iron token. so they used the existing molds. it is fought long before parker
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and barton realize they have a problem and there are a lot of other monopoly games out there. barton writes to daro saying where did this game come from? can you give us a detailed history of the game. we might use it for publicity. the very short version is he waffles and doesn't address the genesis of the game let alone it was around for 30 years before selling. one of the games is a finance game. you can see it looks a lot like monopoly and dan played as a paternity guy at college and sold it on his own. and parker brothers acquire it for not a lot and start to buy up other similar games. milton bradley was their rival
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and had a game that mimicked monopoly and drew origin from the landlord game. the train had left the station by the mid-30s. lizzie magie's landlord game is forgotten. she is not happy and in 1936 she gives an interview from the washington star and she is holding up her board and the monopoly board on the market and says ms. phillips she was married by then, it is understood she received $500 for her pattont and gets no royalties. if you count the fees used up in developing it the game cost her more than making it. that is the deal she received from parker brothers. so why did the patton office grant this when lizzie magie had
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two runs before it? we will never know. there is a document around pattons that explains how and why this happens. we don't know what happened at the patton office. this is his obitary deeming him as the founder of monopoly. lizzie magie dies and there is no mention of monopoly here or on her grave. this whole history was an accident and it came out accidently because of this guy. this is a picture of ralph at berkeley. he games a game called anti-monopoly because he is
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upset about the opec oil car tells. this is him and his son on the left. he feels monopolies roots are negative and he wants a philosophical game. this is a drawing one of his sons did. it is very '70s. ralph nadir and that kind of public service lawyers are the heroes of the game. he hears from parker brothers attorneys saying you cannot make anti-monopoly. and that kicks off a ten year legal battle between ralph and his family and parker brothers and they rip a part trade right patton and copyright law and that is more detailed in the book. as part of the lawsuit, everybody else thought he was the inventor of the game but he starts to find out the roots go
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far back and finds layman who is an elderly man living in pasadena and finds charles todd and hunts down the quaker players. this is ralph's notes to find out who went to school with who and who knew who and reverse engineering the monopoly story and winding back and trying to find the thread between the game and the patton. these are the quakers and shhome passed away but they did ultimately testify. charles todd tells the story i told you and he made a point he didn't live in atlantic city. carlos todd lived in philadelphia and his friend.
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in atlantic city the gardens and spelled en but on the board it is spelled in. and one thing people look at in copy cat chases when you try to prove plagiarism is when someone copies an error because what are the odds. so he spelled it with an in. the color groupings are something the court is interested in. in the early games you can see they are everywhere. ralph tried to find a copy of the board with the word monopoly on it. most people testified it was definitely called the monopoly game pre-parker brothers. and i got this from a reader who
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said we have one in our attic and i e-mailed ralph and said the boards do exist after 40 years. he was kind enough to let me use it. the story is getting press. the anti-monopoly case and ralph telling people this game existed before the parker brothers. and there is an atlantic city monopoly tournament and the parker brothers are sponsoring it and they are giving out the cup with the daro name and ralph decides to set-up a truth about monopoly lecture next to the tournament. and the parker brothers catches wind of this and no one goes to the lecture. but you would not know this by looking at the photo of ralph in atlantic city. he heard from a couple college kids from cornell who were
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kicked out and made a game about how to win at monopoly that parker brothers attacked them over. there is another tournament taking place in washington, d.c. shortly thereafter. and ralph joins forces with the college kids and go about slipping the truth about monopoly under the plates of journalist and that gets a rise. that college kid was jaywalker who is the founder of priceline. this was their book and i did success searching. their names are on it. if you want a pure how to play monopoly book it is pretty great. so meanwhile in court, parker brothers wins an injunction and when you have an injunction you
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throw it in a wearhouse and decide what to do. but they staged a bury the boards not far from where they are being manufactured from. this legal battle went on for years and ralph's personal relationships were strained and his legal fees added up and this is not good for the self-esteem. he won victory in california but parker brothers appeals to the supreme court. ralph needed a lawyer and found carl pierson who is still practicing here. it is the two of them working out of carl's office up against who is who in trademark lobby. the supreme court refuses to hear the case and wins the
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settlement for his damaged games and he wins the right to talk about the origins of the game. he had previously turned down a massive settlement offer that was a lot of money but he would not be able to talk about the history of the game. victory is not enough. he and his friend russ foster and there is a bad quality photo here, but they decide they want to dig up the games. they go to minnesota and they think they know where they are buried and they look and look and have no luck. somebody says you are in the wrong place and ralph says we will go back. they said you might have a problem they built condos on top of where the games are buried. when people ask me why do you spend all of this time writing book about monopoly and board games which is a legit question i think some days the games are going to be discovered.
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i feel like we need a document to explain why 40,000 board games ended up buried in minnesota. so monopoly today i keep a close eye on how people talk about it. john skewert embraced it. if you are into cat memes it made appearances there and gossip girls and sopranos. i want to find out who has these tattoos. i feel like if you are a monopoly sleeve you will come to me at one point on the book tour. but i think it is funny it is opt opposite of what it was. this is my book. you can buy millions of copies and tell your friends. and how to get in touch with me if you have any questions. i think we will take questions
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now and i went through it quickly but there is 300 pages if you want more. let's take some questions. don't all talk at once. yup in >> what was your discovery process on the history? what led you to get into it and find the backstory? >> this whole project came about by accident. i was on staff at the wall street journal and i was going to have a throw away line about monopoly being invent during the great depression. and i did the reporter trick of calling someone who was involved in litigation which was ralph and reached out and i said i am a reporter at the journal and i am trying to find out the truth about monopoly and i just assumed it was invented during the great depression by a guy and ralph got back to me saying he knew all about the history of
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monopoly and started talking. i think as a report sometimes everybody thinks they are a deep throat and you take people seriously but you are kind of like you get a lot of conspiracy theorist. this was like the jay walker piece and it all checked out. i wrote the story, met with ralph in san francisco and he had boxes of depositions, documents, photographs, and recordings and all of the this tough that makes your report soul glow. and now they are in my apartment. and so i started with those and then kind of reported out from that. so a good example is with lizzie magie he knew she existed but i wanted to know more about her and approached the beginning of the book like it was an
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autobiography about her. and researching someone abscure from this area without kids was hard. public resources from the library were incredible and and the census is incredible. figuring out what street the quakers lived next to where lizzie was living most of her life. some of the book is not digital. among journalist and readers there is an idea if it isn't on google it is not real information. i kept finding over and over again these gems that were in people's attic or tucked away. just so much of this book was not out there digitally. her father this didn't end up
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in the book but her civil war letters were at the new york civil society and you get gloves, dig through them and get a portrait of what these people were like. things like that made them into human beings as opposed to textbook names. it was totally different from doing a newspaper story because most of the people i was writing about were deceased. ralph was a huge resource and i never asked more from anybody in terms of time and walking me through the timeline of how he found things he had a lot of notes and documented this well. i interviewed his son and his ex-wife passed away. three people died in the time i was reporting this. i was gathering as much as i could. interviews and such. a lot of things -- i had so many moments when i thought why can't i ask you a question.
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there was a lot of geneology. but it was a hodgepodge of everything. it was overwhelming. the hard part was gathering the string and putting it together. it felt unwieldy. yes? >> i was wondering is there a thing that you found that you had never known. can you talk about that? >> ralph e-mailed be a couple days ago and his son is a lawyer in new york and wrote his harvard law admission essay about the monopoly trial and growing up in courtrooms helped him be a lawyer. ralph splits time between the states and europe which isn't a bad way to live. he said live dpin begins at 89. and i thought


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