• Antitrust

  • Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age
  • By: Amy Klobuchar
  • Narrated by: Nan McNamara, Amy Klobuchar
  • Length: 14 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (126 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

National best seller

Antitrust enforcement is one of the most pressing issues facing America today - and Amy Klobuchar, the widely respected senior senator from Minnesota, is leading the charge. This fascinating history of the antitrust movement shows us what led to the present moment and offers achievable solutions to prevent monopolies, promote business competition, and encourage innovation.

In a world where Google reportedly controls 90 percent of the search engine market and Big Pharma’s drug price hikes impact healthcare accessibility, monopolies can hurt consumers and cause marketplace stagnation. Klobuchar - the much-admired former candidate for president of the United States - argues for swift, sweeping reform in economic, legislative, social welfare, and human rights policies, and describes plans, ideas, and legislative proposals designed to strengthen antitrust laws and antitrust enforcement.

Klobuchar writes of the historic and current fights against monopolies in America, from Standard Oil and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to the Progressive Era's trust-busters; from the breakup of Ma Bell (formerly the world's biggest company and largest private telephone system) to the pricing monopoly of Big Pharma and the future of the giant tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google.

She begins with the Gilded Age (1870s-1900), when builders of fortunes and rapacious robber barons such as J. P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt were reaping vast fortunes as industrialization swept across the American landscape, with the rich getting vastly richer and the poor, poorer. She discusses President Theodore Roosevelt, who, during the Progressive Era (1890s-1920), "busted" the trusts, breaking up monopolies; the Clayton Act of 1914; the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914; and the Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950, which it strengthened the Clayton Act. She explores today's Big Pharma and its price-gouging; and tech, television, content, and agriculture communities and how a marketplace with few players, or one in which one company dominates distribution, can hurt consumer prices and stifle innovation.

As the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, Klobuchar provides a fascinating exploration of antitrust in America and offers a way forward to protect all Americans from the dangers of curtailed competition, and from vast information gathering, through monopolies.

©2021 Amy Klobuchar (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An impressive work of scholarship, deeply researched...highly informative and surprisingly readable in the bargain.” (Liaquat Ahamed, The New York Times Book Review)

“Senators rarely write books, and when they do, they tend to be political memoirs. But Klobuchar’s Antitrust is a serious and important contribution that will help build momentum for reform.... Throughout, she references her own proposed legislation on the topic. And as Klobuchar is chair of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on competition policy, antitrust, and consumer rights, her proposals are likely to be one of the starting points for reform.” (The New Republic

“Methodical...Klobuchar furnishes an overview of the evolution of U.S. anti-monopoly law and a call for rebalancing the relationship between capital and labor. She condemns corporate consolidation and wealth concentration, and views lax antitrust enforcement as antithetical to democracy.” (The Guardian

What listeners say about Antitrust

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Just Monopolies But Progressive Politics Too

This book is written by Senator Amy Klobuchar. It starts out slow, as she tells us about her life and political perspective. Next, she goes into the meaning and history of antitrust in America – and the pace picks up. Not until halfway through the book, does she reveal that her initial accreditation as a sophisticated attorney at law came from her years as counsel for those entities seeking to protect their existence from monopolies. By, the middle of the book the pace is rapid and involving, Antitrust, Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age, narrated by: Nan McNamara, is not just a book on monopolies. It is a treatise on the progressive perspective on politics and has engendered in me great respect for the political earnest nature of Senator Klobuchar. I did not understand how progressive she is but do not get me wrong, she is not a pie in the sky lib. She is all about what works best for the American people and our nation, she is not just an advocate for the downtrodden, but someone who can explain, clearly and concisely, why focusing on the needs of the lesser money endowed will create a better, all for one and one for all. This book was a big surprise for me. A rewarding one for someone educated as a political scientist. Recommended. A good and thoughtful presentation.

8 people found this helpful

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Started strong, then repetitive

The book started strong, but then became repetitive about halfway through. The examples were more citations of examples than stories that descriptively showed the issues and how they developed.

3 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected

I thought this would be a book about the history of antitrust laws in the US, but it was more of a book on what Amy Klobuchar did and what she thinks would have worked if she had the chance to try out various theories of hers. There were a lot of good historical accounts of trusts and then antitrust laws in the US, but this was basically a book by Amy Klobuchar about Amy Klobuchar with some historical facts and background of antitrust laws and her upbringing and the game of Monopoly.

2 people found this helpful

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Flawed but important

I love Amy and wholeheartedly agree with her assessment of the current competition environment, but the book seemed to be all over the place. It could have been more focused and definitely a lot shorter. However, this book strengthens my confidence in Amy as a positive influence in our national politics.

The narrator was great, and Amy's limited narration was also great.

2 people found this helpful

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Not worth your time or money

That says it all: not worth your time or money. Read something interesting if you can — that is not this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Antitrust and Monopolies made interesting and unde

(As posted in Goodreads)
I suppose that this is nominally addressed to Amy Klobuchar:
I rarely give a book 5 stars, although a nonfiction book is far more likely to receive five than a fiction
book, but it's still not a guarantee; in order for me to grant a book order for me to grant the highest rating, said book has to both be interesting and it has to teach me something. This book fits in both categories.
I did study one year of economics in college, but I hated it, and it didn't teach me anything. I expect that my attitude had a lot to do with it; for one thing I was interested in in mathematics and science, not social science or law. For another thing, the Econ 101 was microeconomics, and cared more about people reading graphs (which, as a mathematician, I was more than able to do), and in general the topics covered were memorization and logic. (My undergraduate was at your alma mater, University of Chicago from late 1979 through early 1983 :-) – I am more than a little disappointed that the Chicago version of antitrust was so warped! But I was an undergraduate scientist and totally disconnected from those ideas generally!) I now know more about monopolies and antitrust than I ever did, and I thank your book!
I have to admit to being more than a little biased – I am a diehard left left left wing Democrat! I believe in people, not specifically money! I grew up in lily white wealthy Naperville, Illinois, but I came from Hyde Park, Chicago in 1967. My family didn't fit in (for one thing, we're Jewish), and we had posters all over the house ranting against Nixon and the police state. Never mind that my parents have since be come rabid Republicans and diehard Trumpers (well, I'm not sure about my mom; she died in 2012, but I'm 90% sure she would've been).
Anyway, what I'm saying is that the book was full of very good information and education, and I really think that it's a wonderful choice for anyone who has any doubts about our money system or the crooks running it!

1 person found this helpful

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monopolies need to go

senator Klobuchar presents a compelling point of view, with a strong historical record and real issues we face today, plus concrete changes the country should move towards today. I learned things, and I'm moved to change how I vote by her presentation.

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Refreshing and a reminder America needs Two Strong Parties

A refreshing writing and reminder that America works when both parties come together. Senator Klobuchar is working with Sen Grassley and others to save America IMHO - she gives me hope and I have already started the ten suggestions she makes in the last chapter. Worthy listen

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Perfect mix of history and a call to action today

This book provides an excellent primer on the history of antitrust law in the US, from how it got started, to how it developed, and the challenges it's faced in the past few decades. It then pivots to the practical things we can do about it now. Really good read for anyone who knows something isn't right with an economy filled with too-big-to-fail companies and not enough small businesses who can compete.

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    5 out of 5 stars

It's about time

Senator Amy covers this subject beautifully and honestly presents the crucial essence of monopoly powers and our government
lack of control over "Big Business" . I feel we are too late in stopping these anticompetitive policies though.
we are doomed to suffer high prices for services as the so-called middle class fades into poverty and monopolist count their
money In the dungeons of Washington DC.