Friday, November 8, 2019

Book Review: 'Killers of the Flower Moon' by David Grann

✰✰✰✰½ After being forced to relinquish their native lands, the Osage Indians ended up in what is now the state of Oklahoma. It was such a desolate place; the Osage thought they would be safe from settlers wanting their land. Then oil was discovered underground and the rush was on. Suddenly, Osage headright holders became the wealthiest people in the world, and it seemed everyone wanted in. 

Back then in the 1920s, Osage County, Oklahoma was one of the most chaotic places in the country. Thus, when the family of Mollie Burkhart, an Osage Indian woman, started dying, no one really seemed to notice at first. As more of her family continued to die off, the FBI became involved. What unfolded was layer upon layer of deception, corruption, and murder. This page-turning tale of murder and lies is one that you won’t be able to put down.

The Bottom Line: After years of research, author David Grann presents this lost piece of American history. With compelling writing, obscure facts, and lots of twists and turns, this is a book that keeps you guessing. Enthusiastically recommended for fans of true crime, American history, law enforcement, and Native American issues. This is highly recommended reading for college students as well.

Book Club Notes: Our group had been waiting with anticipation for over a year to read this one. Members felt very passionately about the issues faced by Native Americans and wondered why this wasn’t included in our history books. 

We appreciated that there was ample biographical information for each subject. This book was rich in details, and the photos really added to the reading experience. This was a well-written, fascinating look at history, and we felt that Grann went the extra mile to get his information correct and to continue the investigation.

Highly recommended for book clubs willing to tackle this hidden piece of history. Ratings ranged from 4 - 5, with an average of 4.6. Discussion questions are available at Penguin Random House, PBS, LitLovers, MPPL, & many others. We also viewed the a video clip from the BBC News.

Details: Killers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. Paperback published by Simon & Schuster in 2017. 352 P. ISBN: 978-1-4711-8329-4

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