KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON/DAVID GRANN/THE OSAGE TRAGEDY

David Grann’s extraordinarily researched work of non-fiction, Killers of the Flower Moon, The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, details  yet another contemptible and murderous abuse of  Native Americas.  The killing of many dozens of Osage Indians in Osage County, Oklahoma were conceived and carried out by the white establishment over a period of two murderous  decades.  The motive?  A common theme of greed, in this case stealing from the Osage the mineral rights to the booming oil field discovered on their reservation  in the early 1900s.

When J. Edgar  Hoover  was first named head of what was  later to become the Federal Bureau of Investigation he prioritized the solving of the Osage Indian murders and turned to Texas Ranger Tom White to lead the investigation. The details of this tragedy are shocking. It was a conspiracy the specific purpose of which was to kill Osage and their descendants in order to steal the valuable mineral rights that had made the Osage among the wealthiest per capita people in America.  Local law enforcement was major part of the conspiracy.

Grann spares no detail in uncovering the horror of this injustice.  The accolades he has received from the literary  community speak to the importance of this work. High praise from Jon Krakauer, Erik Larsen, John Grisham and S.C. Gwynne.

David Grann also authored The Lost City of Z and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes.

 

 

 

LONESOME DOVE SERIES-GOOD FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER!

On the top shelf, back in the upper right hand corner sits Lonesome Dove, the 1985 Pulitzer Prize winner by Larry McMurtry.  Who could forget Lonesome Dove?  A blockbuster movie, television series, country music iconic song all attributed to McMurtry’s storytelling.  All of the elements of a great western epic are incorporated in Lonesome Dove. Texas Rangers, a love story, Indians, a lawless frontier, and the sheer beauty and adventure of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana.  Recalling the pleasure of reading Lonesome Dove brings into focus the entire Lonesome Dove Series. 

Lonesome Dove (1985), Streets of Laredo (1989) Dead Man’s Walk (1996) Comanche Moon (2008). Although written in the aforementioned order, if you wish to read them in the chronological order of the plot setting you would begin with Dead Man’s Walk  ( set in the 1840s) dealing with the earliest adventures of  Texas Rangers Augustus McRae and Woodrow Call set around the Santa Fe Expedition of 1841.  You will also be introduced to Comanche worrier Buffalo Hump and several other important characters that appear in the later novels.

Comanche Moon is set in the 1850s-1860s with McRae and Call in pursuit of the Comanche horse thief Kicking Wolf. Also entering the storyline is McRae’s love interest Clara Forsythe, and his rival Bob Allen. Buffalo Hump leads the Comanche Nation to war with a detailed plot of characters and twist and turns moving through the Civil War and to Lonesome Dove.

Streets of Laredo is the fourth and final book in the series, set in the 1890s.  Texas Ranger Woodrow Call is now a bounty hunter tracks a Mexican Bandit who is praying on the railroads. Gus McRae appears protecting settlers from renegade Indians and bad folks in general. Loves are won and lost; the paternity of certain children is surprisingly identified. Judge Roy Bean, “The Law West of thePecos” is hanged.

I read Lonesome Dove first, set in the mid to late 1870s but having done so my next step is to return to the beginning of the chronological order of the plots and pick up Dead Man’s Walk.

McMurtry’s ability to establish and carry forward characters reminds me of Tom Clancy with Jack Ryan, Jack Ryan Jr., et al.   McMurtry has given us Augustus  Gus” McCrae, Woodrow F. Call, Joshua Deets, Pea Eye Parker, Jake Spoon, Clara Forsythe Allen, Maggie Tilton, Lorena Wood Parker, Blue Duck, and Buffalo Hump. You will be fascinated with all of them.