If you thought that Monopoly was the Parker Brothers-invented, annoyingly long game played on dreary winter afternoons with your annoyingly competitive cousins, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the Worlds Favorite Board Game will show you that the Parker Brothers invention bit was not quite correct, although it has been enforced by copyright and abundant litigation. In fact, the game was invented as a critique of capitalism and improved upon by Quakers (and bad spellers to boot).
Worth reading even if you still remember those annoying afternoons.
P.S. The orange and red properties really are more profitable! Thanks, Dad.