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New book examines Oklahoma’s violent--and strikingly relevant--past


A new book about a troubling episode in Oklahoma’s history is drawing a good deal of attention from critics. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is an incisive investigation into the mass murder of Osage Indians in Oklahoma—natives who were put to death so that their oil could be confiscated by white speculators.

The story seems remarkably relevant today, given the recent protests by the Standing Rock Lakota nation. The Lakota have been fighting to prevent an oil pipeline from moving through their water reservoir and across sacred lands, but their protests have fallen on deaf ears in the current administration.

The author of Killers of the Flower Moon is David Grann, whose previous work The Lost City of Z was recently adapted into a feature film. Like that book, Grann’s latest effort is being met with breathless praise. The Guardian called it “a story that cuts to a kernel of the national narrative.”