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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
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October 2017: Society > Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann - 4 stars

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Sushicat | 804 comments In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. These riches in the hands of people who few decades ago were the enemy and considered savages led to shocking events laid out in this book: the systematic abuse and robbing of a people deprived of basic rights, culminating in the killings of a large number of the Osage Nation.

The first part looks at how the community itself reacted to the deaths and the early efforts to shed light into the background of the killings. The second part introduces the agents of the Bureau of Investigation, the politics around the transformation into the FBI and how it related to their investigation and the court case that followed. The last part looks at all that remained in the dark.

The insights into the birth of the FBI was a perfect follow up to Girl in Disguise, which tells the story of the first female Pinkerton detective and at the role of that agency in law enforcement around the time of the Civil War. Especially interesting to see how the code of conduct that went with it developed, from fragmented groups of people who enforced the law haphazardly and were often beholden to local patrons, to an independent force with scientific means allowing a less biased evidence base to be collected.

I'm of two minds whether this aspect of the book detracted from or was very much part of the story of the Osage Nation and the effect their wealth had on their status as American citizens.


message 2: by Sushicat (last edited Oct 09, 2017 09:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sushicat | 804 comments I’ve moved this over as it has a strong theme of social issues. I haven’t figured out a way to verify if a particular tag has been used on a book - except scrolling through page after page of tags... :-(


Booknblues | 5529 comments Sushicat wrote: "I’ve moved this over as it has a strong theme of social issues. I haven’t figured out a way to verify if a particular tag has been used on a book - except scrolling through page after page of tags...."

I loved this book and definitely feel it fits the social issues.


AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Thanks for the review, I'm definitely adding this to my TBR list. Sounds fascinating!


Hahtoolah | 410 comments I recently read this book after hearing a review on NPR. I found the book to be very fascinating. I am sorry that I had never heard of this piece of history prior to reading this book.


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