Book reviews - July 5 2017

By: Matakana Village Books

Killers of the Flower Moon
by David Grann

In the 1920s, the richest people in the world per capita were the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. They had been forcibly removed from their tribal lands in Kansas to a rocky reservation in Oklahoma. The American Government was totally unaware that beneath this rocky land lay one of the richest oil fields in America. The Osage became extremely wealthy – they bought cars, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. Then the killings started, with Mollie Burkhart’s family becoming a prime target. Over a period of five years more than two dozen Osage Indians were killed. They were poisoned, shot, blown up and hit by cars, and all for their money and oil rights. The tribe dubbed it “The Siege of Terror”. As the death toll rose, the FBI took up the case, the aptly named Tom White was asked to investigate the deaths. What he exposed in this non-fiction narrative is one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history to date.

The Husband Hunters
by Anne De Courcy

Anne De Courcy is well regarded as a writer of social history, and this one is subtitled “Social Climbing in London and New York.” Starting in 1874, when Jennie Jerome – the first to be labelled a ‘Dollar Princess’ – married Randolph Churchill to 1914, more than 100 young American heiresses married in to the British aristocracy. They all bought huge wealth, glamour and sophistication to the ailing and crumbling British ruling class. Many of these young women had been extensively educated, often in France, and they had a freedom of manner and confidence in themselves that the English girls lacked. Based on extensive research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, Anne De Courcy shows us the motives and attitudes of these young girls and their families, set in the social context of the times and revealing that husband hunting in England was much more than simply a case of cash for titles.


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