1. Trace the "path" by which the Osage Indians eventually
landed on the swatch of land in what would become the state of Oklahoma.
Talk about their treatment at the hands of the U.S. government and others
over the years. What angered or shocked you most?
2. Describe the early days of the Bureau of
Investigation, its founding under Theodore Roosevelt, its original purpose,
structure and operation, as well as its corruption, ineptness and bungled
investigation of the Osage murders.
3. What made young J. Edgar Hoover an unlikely choice to
head the Bureau of Investigation? What was his vision for the bureau—why,
for instance, a nationalized police force rather than the existing patchwork
4. How would you describe Tom White? Talk about how he
approached the investigation into the Osage murders? When he solved the
crime, were you surprised by the identity of the mastermind? Or had you
figured it out along the way.
5. Grann writes that "history is a merciless judge." What
does he mean by that?
6. Talk about the last 70 pages of the book, in which
Grann writes about working with current tribal members to uncover an even
deeper conspiracy. By the book's end, what were your feelings about the
Osage nation, its history, and its people?
7. What is the significance of the book's title?
8. Does this story have relevance to current events? Are
there parallels regarding the Standing Rock Lakota nation and the Keystone