OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Lacy K. Ford

Portrait of Lacy K. Ford

Lacy K. Ford is Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina and Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of, Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South (2009), and his 2008 Journal of American History article, "Reconfiguring the Old South: Solving the Problem of Slavery, 1787-1838" (featured on the Teaching the JAH web project), focused on the emergence of a distinct proslavery ideology in the Old South and its evolving influence on white southern society. Most recently, Ford is the author of Empowering Communities: How Electric Cooperatives Transformed Rural South Carrolina. Ford also maintains a research focus on the economy of the modern South,1940-2020.

NEW IN 2022: Empowering Communities: How Electric Cooperatives Tranformed Rural South Carolina (University of South Carolina Press)

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Historians have grappled tirelessly to fathom the full meaning of a war that cost the nation over 700,000 lives (from a total population of roughly 40 million) and yet also saved the Union and freed nearly four million slaves. Fifty years ago , historian David Potter argued that much of that meaning lay in fusion of liberalism and nationalism through the Union victory in the war. More recently, the end of the Cold War and the invention of radically decentralizing technologies have challenged that vision. This lecture tries once again to find the meaning of the Civil War for the world today.