What I’m Reading: Killers of the Flower Moon

I’ve heard a lot about the movie Killer of the Flower Moon. I haven’t seen it yet. Then the book started showing up in my recommended books. I decided I might as well give it a try. The book is by David Grann.

I am a history buff and before reading this, I would have said I like all things historical. But after reading this…I can’t say that as easily. I would put a qualifier in the statement. I would be more likely to say, I think it’s important that we learn history and to do that, I often real historical books.

This book was sad. There wasn’t anything to enjoy. Sadly then many people won’t read a book like this. But…I think it’s important that we do.

The book tells about what happened to the people of the Osage Nation living in Oklahoma in the 1920s after oil was discovered on their land.

This book is adapted for young readers. I didn’t realize that when I checked the book out but decided to listen to it anyway. HERE is a link to the adult version.

I would imagine that version is just as enlightening.

Books like this can be hard for me. They show bitterness, meanness, hatred, bigotry, and every form of terrible behavior a person can think of all disguised under the guise of someone helpful, a neighbor, or even an husband. I am everything these people are not so it is very hard for me to imagine there are people in this world who are polar opposite of me.

I think this book is a good reminder to me that everyone is not always like me…some people have ulterior motives…but WOW…just WOW.

Here is what Amazon has to say:
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, thanks to the oil that was discovered beneath their land. Then, one by one, the Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances, and anyone who tried to investigate met the same end.

As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created Bureau of Investigation, which became the FBI, took up the case, one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. An undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau, infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Working with the Osage, they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

In this adaptation of the adult bestseller, David Grann revisits his gripping investigation into the shocking crimes against the Osage people. The book is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to occur for so long.”

Amazon readers give the book 4.5 stars. I’d agree. I do want to see the movie now.

I think everyone needs to see the movie or read a version of this book or find a way to learn about this history. Oh my. We can never let anything like this happen again.

You can find the book HERE if you are interested in the version I read.

18 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: Killers of the Flower Moon”

  1. Judith Fairchild

    I had heard about the trail of tears. By the Cherokee Nation. I know there’s a horrible amount of prejudice towards the Indians. It’s not right for any reason. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    1. Hi Jo, I read the book several years ago. The treatment if the Osage people by the government and their agents was disgraceful. I am so glad that because they purchased their reservation they have sued the US government twice and received several hundred million dollars in compensation. It’s a pity that the other Native American tribes did not do the same. Have you read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee? It is sad but we need to learn from history so as not to repeat it.
      I have been reading your blog for several years and can see that you have been through a lot yet you are always positive and cheerful. Hope that you can get through your treatments and enjoy good health for many years to come.
      Maureen Blair
      Barmah, Victoria

  2. My friend went to see the movie with other ladies. She ended up leaving early because it was just so hard to deal with that reality. Sometimes history can be ugly.

  3. The movie is incredible! Beautifully filmed and best seen on the biggest screen possible. It is sad, mans inhumanity is hard to watch, but beautifully acted. I have severe spinal problems and it’s hard for me to sit that long but I saw 2 movies last year, “Oppenheimer” and “Killers of the Flower Moon”. Both made me angry, sad, and made me cry but the time passed quickly since they were both so masterfully cast and directed. Lily Gladstone and Jillian Murphy as leads and the rest of the nominated cast shine and deserved every nomination and win. Both are about power and control and the real sadness is we never seem to learn from the past.

  4. Am currently reading this book. My deceased husband had a ranch in Oklahoma and this is a hard read because it shows what the possibility of having a great deal of money will do to corrupt people. This is a sad indictment of what happened in the quest for oil in this country. This author is truly amazing.

  5. We in Australia are also having to grapple with and come to terms with the shameful, horrible and murderous way that white colonists treated our Indigenous folk when they basically took their land off them and killed them when they resisted. This has been coming to light more often over the last few years especially. So we also have very ugly chapters in our history too, as do probably all countries that were colonised. And you’re right, it’s difficult to read or see but we need to, and try to work to make amends and understand them, say sorry and work with them.

  6. I also read the book, Jo. And it is a difficult read but one that should be read.
    The Indian people have been so mistreated. My husband and I were stationed on an Indian reservation when he was a policeman, and we know what went on. When you deposit people on land on which nothing will grow, and the people have never been trained to either raise livestock or farm the land, no other jobs are available there, there is nothing to do and no incentives to work, and very little money, you get people who, out of frustration, turn to alcohol, drugs, fighting each other, domestic violence, child abuse, and murder each other. Until the reservations are closed down, there will never be anything but trouble on them. It’s very sad; we should be ashamed of what we have done to the Indian people.

  7. I read this book, too, and agree with your assessment. It’s a story of horrible crimes committed against a group of Native Americans by their neighbors and even family members. Greed was a powerful motivator, and the system was stacked against them. And it’s certainly not a subject that came up in my history classes in school. Thanks for bringing it to your readers’ attention.

  8. I too read this book. I would have to put it down & stop reading for a bit, because it was just a tough book to read. So very sad. The Native Americans have truly been mistreated. Not many tribes left as they have been destroyed.

  9. I’m ashamed to say I’m from the UK and we, as a nation, have a heinous history of colonising land which belonged to other people. As Sharon F said, this was never taught in my school, and probably still isn’t. Thanks for the recommendation Jo, we need to read books like this one.

  10. I saw this movie, and it was a wonderfully made movie. The story of the devaluing of the Native Americans was heart breaking, but as with many Native American stories there is a clear link to a universal principal or teaching. This movie demonstrated what happens when the love of money is greater than the love of the people in your life, no matter if it is in the early 1900s or in the evils of today.

  11. Let’s keep a balanced mind here and realize that this book was written with an agenda. I’m not saying terrible things did not and still continue to happen. But the truth lies somewhere in the muddy middle. Yes, I have read the book. I don’t feel it gave a balanced representation of both sides of the story.

  12. I read this book when it first came out and felt the history in it was so important that I sent a copy to several other people. I felt disappointed and angry this was never taught when I was growing up. Feel we need to know and acknowledge the ugly parts of our history and learn from it. I recommend the the book version which is loaded with photos. I found myself continually going back and looking at the photos.

  13. To learn more of our country’s history that many of us weren’t taught, try ‘A Fever in the Heartland’ as well as ‘The Warmth of Other Suns’.

  14. I read the book last fall. I know that the evil walk among us and some of that evil uses people out of greed. I loved how well the book was written and the wealth of information that was presented. It was so sad that the greed ran so deep that the Osage were murdered for that wealth by people that they trusted. I recommend the book as it tells history that was not presented in any history book. I also have the rest of David Grann’s books, I have only found time to read one of them so far.

  15. My grandmother was born in 1896 and as long as she was alive, she spoke about injustice here in the US. I remember her crying because of the things that had been done to the Indians. I donate to a few groups directly so they can help themselves. I’ve mailed quilting fabrics to the various women and last August my husband and I filled our RV to the brim and took it to their store. The first thing they asked was did I bring any sewing machines and I said ‘seven’. This was Pine Ridge Reservation and it’s very isolated but beautiful countryside. Please help all you can.

  16. Marlene Clausen

    I have never been angrier after reading the book, “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.” If we aren’t willing to accept reading/seeing what we’ve done, how will we ever do better? Yes, I will look for this book. Thanks so much for the review.

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