Join us around the fireplace to discuss "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI," by David Grann. New members always welcome.
Synopsis: In the 1920s, the Osage found themselves in a unique position among Native Americans tribes. As other tribal lands were parceled out in an effort by the government to encourage dissolution and assimilation of both lands and culture, the Osage negotiated to maintain the mineral rights for their corner of Oklahoma, creating a kind of underground reservation. It proved a savvy move; soon countless oil rigs punctured the dusty landscape, making the Osage very rich. And thats when they started dying.
Youd think the Osage Indian Reservation murders would have been a bigger story, one as familiar as the Lindbergh kidnapping or Bonnie and Clyde. It has everything, but at scale: Execution-style shootings, poisonings, and exploding houses drove the body count to over two dozen, while private eyes and undercover operatives scoured the territory for clues. Even as legendary and infamous oil barons vied for the most lucrative leases, J. Edgar Hoovers investigation which he would leverage to enhance both the prestige and power of his fledgling FBI - began to overtake even the towns most respected leaders.
Exhuming the massive amount of detail is no mean feat, and its even harder to make it entertaining. But journalist David Grann knows what hes doing. With the same obsessive attention to fact - in service to storytelling - as The Lost City of Z, Killers of the Flower Moon reads like narrative-nonfiction as written by James M. Cain (there are, after all, insurance policies involved): smart, taut, and pacey. Most sobering, though, is how the tale is at once unsurprising and unbelievable, full of the arrogance, audacity, and inhumanity that continues to reverberate through todays headlines. --Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review