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"Van Atta’s study of the multifaceted discussions taking place in Congress and throughout the nation provides a welcome level of sophistication, with implications for our understanding of nineteenth-century American governance far beyond the context of land policy."

"Solidly researched, well written, and cogently argued."

"...[Securing the West] quite ably and engagingly synthesize[s] and present[s] the concerns of policy makers while avoiding what might have been a parade of subtly differing public land distribution bills."

"A compelling account of how this issue [of land] went to the heart of the competing, shifting visions Americans had of their new country and its future."

"Van Atta's emphasis on the social implications of the development of western land policies makes several important historiographic contributions.... Most important, Van Atta's analysis of the larger moral and cultural nuances involved in western land politics further illustrates the significance of the region in the development of the United States."