by David Grann

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil. The fledgling F.B.I. intervened, ineffectively.

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5 positive comments

16 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

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  • 5 positive comments

    8 neutral comments

    17 negative comments

    # of reviews over time


    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • Well researched and written. Sadly a true story. A testimonial to greed and arrogance. Well worth reading.
    • Very readable and exciting book. Mostly depressing: the animosity towards natives, and the hypocritical, corrupt, and illegal actions of whites at multiple levels to cheat them, are rift. And nothing much seems to have changed. The continued and wide-spread murders of those who were then members of the richest tribe in the USA, are consistent with the attitudes and treatment.After being driven down the trail of tears and onto what was considered 'disposal' land, the Osage discovered oil. Wealth flowed. But from Washington to local officials, there were plots to take back even the relative pittance the tribe recovered.In addition, the book documents a case that increased the influence of the FBI. It appears there was little hope to do right by the tribe driving the case, but an effort to build the reputation and power of the agency itself. There are attractive characters trying to investigate murders and to do right by the victims, but certainly not at all levels of society or law enforcement. The murders of one family stopped, but only after killing all except one member of that family. Even a (white) husband tried to kill his tribal wife. And the white perpetrators escaped either execution or long sentences.It is generally a depressing saga of the west where no one really wins. (less)
    • There are available on youtube some "drive through" videos of Osage County, Oklahoma. If you haven't had the chance to drive through the county yourself, take a few minutes and watch one of those videos just to understand what it looks like now. Then start this book remembering that the events depicted in it are now almost a hundred years in the past. It will make you appreciate all the more the masterful description given by David Grann.This is a tough story about a tough area that had seen nothing but tough times until oil was discovered in what seemed to be endless quantities.With the oil came money, lots of it. And the struggle to control that money turns deadly. Exploitation of people by gender, social class and national origin runs rampant; with the biggest irony being that it is the Native Americans who are exploited by the "Anglo" Americans.Throw in some brave Texas lawmen, an already eccentric and inconsistent young J Edgar Hoover, and some remarkably strong women who managed to tell their stories to their daughters and granddaughters and this story just crackles with excitement and emotion.Mister Grann is a graduate of what used to known as Connecticut College For Women. One of the intended consequences of having that venerable institution become a coeducational college is that the male graduates have tendencies to write well about the women's point of view. The women leaders connected to CC such as Jane Addams, Mary Morrisson, Rosemary Park, and the Wright and Larrabee sisters would all be proud.Read this book because it needs to be part of your Education with a capital E.
    • Informative my hard to follow, needed to take notes to follow all the names and who did what. Not an easy read
    • This is one of the most heartbreaking and terrifying books I have ever read. I hope that it becomes a staple of reading lists for American history classes. It is an incredibly well told story of a staggering real world evil in an America only two or three generations removed from our own. You should read it. It won't take long - it is, though it feels crass to say so, a genuine page-turner. And I at least will likely wrestle with it for a long while. Man o man.