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 six 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.


“If you’re interested in a sweeping but detailed take on the modern landscape of corporate power, you should buy a copy of Dayen’s Monopolized; it’s enormously well-researched, and you will know more about corporate power after you are done. I learned a lot, even though studying monopoly is what I do.”
—Matt Stoller, BIG
“David Dayen’s new book, Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power, is a comprehensive look at why its title is an accurate description of our economic life.”
—Kelly Candaele, Capital & Main
“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
“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
“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
“Blending professional rigor with journalistic flair, Dayen, executive editor of the American Prospect, takes readers on a comprehensive tour of the American economy.”
“A superb book about the rise and rise of monopolies. . . . If telling this kind of complicated, technical story and making it personal and urgent is an art, then Dayen is an artist.”
—Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic
“A master storyteller. . . . Dayen eschews the sterile supply and demand charts and instead tells the gripping stories of individuals who have suffered at the hands of monopolists in their daily lives.”
—Hal Singer, ProMarket
“A cutting damnation of the monopolization of the international marketplace for, well, pretty much everything. . . . The author digs deep into the problem, chronicling his travels around the U.S. to see not only the macro effects of monopolies, but their very real impacts on real people. . . . A powerful, necessary call to arms to strengthen the antitrust movement and fight a system whose goal is complete control.”
Kirkus Reviews
Monopolized is eye-opening, disturbing, and brilliant. . . . It is one of those before and after books: before you read it, you may have a 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
“The idea for Monopolized was inspired but the execution was even better.”
—Jim Lardner, journalist and founder of
“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)
“Balancing copious data with profiles of workers and business owners, and writing in clear, accessible language, Dayen makes a persuasive argument that reining in big business should be a priority for American voters and policy makers. This is an incisive, irrefutable call to action.”
Publishers Weekly

News and Reviews

Book Excerpt

Read an excerpt from Monopolized in The American Prospect about the effect of monopolies supply lines for necessary medical equipment.

The American Prospect

Find out how the pandemic has expanded corporate power in David Dayen’s “Unsanitized” column in The American Prospect.


ProMarket named David Dayen’s Monopolized one of the Best Political Economy Books of 2020.

Kirkus Reviews

Read a review of Monopolized in Kirkus Reviews.


Books by David Dayen

Chain of Title
How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud

David Dayen

Goodreads Reviews