Book review: Killers of the Flower Moon

By Anne Wardell

David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, 2017.  

#1 New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist.  

I first heard about this book when the author, David Grann, was interviewed by Michael Krasny on KQED’s Forum radio program.  The subject is the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. I was flabbergasted to learn that in the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were Osage members.  The discovery of oil on under their reservation lands was the source of their newfound wealth.  Slowly, over the course of several years, the wealthiest members of the Osage nation began to die under mysterious circumstances.  The inheritors of the estates were NOT Osage.  Who were the perpetrators of this conspiracy?  The newly created FBI and a hard-working Texas Ranger eventually solved the mystery and brought some of the perpetrators to light.  This is one of those books that no one would read if it weren’t based on actual events.  It shines a spotlight on yet another sad story of mistreatment of indigenous people in our country.  It is an important read if we are committed to understanding forgotten events of the past so that we do not allow them to occur in the future.

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