Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power
From the airlines we fly to the food we eat, how a tiny group of corporations have come to dominate every aspect of our lives--by one of our most intrepid and accomplished journalists
If you're looking for a book . . . that will get your heart pumping and your blood boiling and that will remind you why we're in these fights--add this one to your list. --Senator Elizabeth Warren on David Dayen's Chain of Title
Over the last forty years our choices have narrowed, our opportunities have shrunk, and our lives have become governed by a handful of very large and very powerful corporations. Today, practically everything we buy, everywhere we shop, and every service we secure comes from a heavily concentrated market.
This is a world where four major banks control most of our money, four airlines shuttle most of us around the country, and four major cell phone providers connect most of our communications. If you are sick you can go to one of three main pharmacies to fill your prescription, and if you end up in a hospital almost every accessory to heal you comes from one of a handful of large medical suppliers.
Dayen, the editor of the American Prospect and author of the acclaimed Chain of Title, provides a riveting account of what it means to live in this new age of monopoly and how we might resist this corporate hegemony.
Through vignettes and vivid case studies Dayen shows how these monopolies have transformed us, inverted us, and truly changed our lives, at the same time providing readers with the raw material to make monopoly a consequential issue in American life and revive a long-dormant antitrust movement.
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About the Author
David Dayen writes regularly for The Intercept and The Nation and has just been appointed the editor of the American Prospect. He is the author of Chain of Title, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize for a first book in the public interest. Dayen lives in Venice, California.
--Kirkus Reviews "Dayen's investigation is as well-written and compelling as it is disturbing in its detailed and hard-hitting revelations. But Dayen moves beyond the injustice and insult of it all to remind readers that America has faced the threat of monopolies and unfair economic practices in the past and created ways to regulate and rein in such damaging practices."
--Booklist (starred review) "David Dayen is a master of making important economic trends accessible, and even entertaining, to all. But beneath the good humor is a critical message about American industry's turn toward monopoly. The result across America is high consumer prices, limited product choice, low wages, and inadequate economic growth." --Jeff Madrick, author of Invisible Americans: The Tragic Cost of Child Poverty "Americans prosper most when business competition is robust, David Dayen explains in this smart and eye-opening book. In plain English, Monopolized shows how the rapid rise of monopolies thwarts competition, shrivels your paycheck, and tears families apart."
--David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch
"Monopolized is eye-opening, disturbing, and brilliant. . . . It is one of those before and after books: before you read it, you may have vague sense that monopolies are a problem in a few areas; afterwards, you will see them everywhere. . . . Dayen is a great journalist, a vivid storyteller and his flashes of dark humor light up the pages."
--Zephyr Teachout, associate law professor, Fordham University, and author of Break 'Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money
"It's not just Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Monopolies, duopolies, and oligopolies rule almost every area of American commercial life. . . . The economy, politics, and even community life would be better off if we could break up some of these monsters."
--Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy
"The idea for Monopolized was inspired but the execution was even better."
--Jim Lardner, journalist and founder of Inequality.org Praise for David Dayen's Chain of Title
Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews and The Week
"Gripping. . . . Prepare to be surprised, and angry. . . . The homeowners' stories are emotional roller coasters. Dayen skillfully narrates a slow reveal and sprinkles in some lively metaphors."
--The New York Times Book Review
"An inspiring, well-rendered, deeply reported, and often infuriating account."
"Dayen elevates a muckraking exposé of fraudulent foreclosures to Hitchcockian levels of suspense. . . . Meticulously researched, enthralling, and educational, this addition to the literature of the Great Recession calls out for its own big-screen adaptation."