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Securing the West: Politics, Public Lands, and the Fate of the Old RepublicBook Talk by Dr. John Van Atta In his recently published book Securing the West, John R. Van Atta examines the visions of the founding generation and the increasing influence of ideological differences in the years after the peace treaty that ended the Mexican War. Americans generally expected the country to grow westward, but they held strongly differing opinions on the details. What part should Congress play in this development? How much should public land cost? What of the families and businesses left behind, and how would society's institutions be established in the West? What of the premature settlers, the "squatters" who challenged the rule of law while epitomizing democratic daring? Dr. Van Atta draws upon a range of sources known to have influenced the public discourse, including congressional debates, committee reports and correspondence; editorial writings by the famous and unknown; and news coverage in various widely circulated newspapers and magazines of the period. Van Atta teaches history and constitutional law at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is author of The Wolf by the Ears: The Missouri Crisis, 1819-1821, forthcoming from Johns Hopkins. Books will be available for sale and signing. Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 7:00 to 8:30 pm Vanderbilt Education Center Members: $10; nonmembers: $15.