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Empowering Communities

How Electric Cooperatives Transformed Rural South Carolina

Early in the twentieth century, for-profit companies such as Duke Power and South Carolina Electric and Gas brought electricity to populous cities and towns across South Carolina, while rural areas remained in the dark. It was not until the advent of publicly owned electric cooperatives in the 1930s that the South Carolina countryside was gradually introduced to the conveniences of life with electricity. Today, electric cooperatives serve more than a quarter of South Carolina's citizens and more than seventy percent of the state's land area, bringing not only power but also high-speed broadband to rural communities.

The rise of "public" power—electricity serviced by member-owned cooperatives and sanctioned by federal and state legislation—is a complicated saga encompassing politics, law, finance, and rural economic development. Empowering Communities examines how the cooperatives helped bring fundamental and transformational change to the lives of rural people in South Carolina, from light to broadband.

James E. Clyburn, the majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina, provides a foreword.

About the Authors

Lacy K. Ford, professor of history at the University of South Carolina, is the author of several books, including Deliver Us from Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South.

9781643362687 : empowering-communities-ford-bailey-clyburn
Hardback
February 18, 2022
$44.99 USD
9781643362694 : empowering-communities-ford-bailey-clyburn
Paperback / softback
February 18, 2022
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February 18, 2022
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Other Titles by Lacy K. Ford

Red Hills and Cotton

Ben Robertson, introduction by Lacy K. Ford
Aug 1973 - University of South Carolina Press
$18.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles by James E. Clyburn

Blessed Experiences

James E. Clyburn, foreword by Alfre Woodard
Apr 2014 - University of South Carolina Press
$29.99 USD - Hardback

Yearning to Breathe Free

Andrew Billingsley, foreword by James E. Clyburn
Apr 2007 - University of South Carolina Press
$19.99 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Rural

Older Rural Americans

edited by E. Grant Youmans
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text

Shake-Out

Mark Friedberger
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$20.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text

Powering American Farms

Richard F. Hirsh
May 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text