Outland, Robert B., III
Outland, Robert B., III
(Robert Boone Outland, III)
Born in Rich Square, NC; son of Robert Boone Outland, Jr. (a dentist). Education: Wake Forest University, graduated, 1989.
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, instructor in history, beginning before 2002.
Robert D.W. Connor Award, Historical Society of North Carolina, 2001, for "Suicidal Harvest: The Self-Destruction of North Carolina's Naval Stores Industry"; Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award, Forest History Society, 2005, for Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South.
Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 2004.
Also author of article "Suicidal Harvest: The Self-Destruction of North Carolina's Naval Stores Industry," North Carolina Historical Review, July, 2001. Contributor to periodicals, including Agricultural History and Journal of Southern History.
In his first book, Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South, Robert B. Outland III presents a detailed history of the production of tar, pitch, turpentine, and rosin in pine forests from colonial times to the twentieth century. Known as the naval stores industry from the shipbuilding use of tar and pitch, it was a major enterprise throughout the South, and it was North Carolina's chief industry for centuries, giving rise to the state's "Tar Heel State" nickname. Tapping the Pines is "the first full-length study on the subject," noted Lawrence S. Earley in the Mississippi Quarterly, "and it should be the last word on it for some years to come." Earley deemed the book "engrossing" and "a richly detailed and melancholy reminder of the environmental and human costs of this forgotten Southern industry." Reviewing the book for the Journal of Southern History, Terry Sharrer wrote that "Outland deserves nothing but praise for his understanding of the science, technology, economics, and sociology of this story," and he described the book as "rich and fascinating." Thomas J. Straka in Environmental History highlighted Outland's use of personal stories, "thorough research," and ample detail, concluding that "I doubt there is a forester in the South who would challenge my description of the book as ‘absolutely fascinating.’" While some critics suggested that the work would have benefited from additional maps and illustrations, many felt that Outland had produced, in the words of Eldred E. Wink Prince, Jr., in H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, "the best history of naval stores yet written" and potentially the standard work on the subject. Prince called it "a first-rate history" written "with style and grace."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Agricultural History, fall, 2006, Samuel C. Hyde, Jr., review of Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South, p. 497.
American Historical Review, April, 2006, Daniel Clark, review of Tapping the Pines, pp. 490-491.
Business History Review, winter, 2005, Mark R. Wilson, review of Tapping the Pines, p. 866.
Environmental History, April, 2005, Thomas J. Straka, review of Tapping the Pines, p. 328.
Journal of American History, March, 2006, James E. Fickle, review of Tapping the Pines, p. 1482.
Journal of Southern History, February, 2006, Terry Sharrer, review of Tapping the Pines, p. 169.
Mississippi Quarterly, winter, 2004, Lawrence S. Earley, review of Tapping the Pines, p. 415.
Reviews in American History, September, 2005, Sean Patrick Adams, "Trees of Value, Forests of Misery," pp. 341-349.
Technology and Culture, January, 2006, Mark Glen Madison, review of Tapping the Pines, p. 206.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (August, 2006), Eldred E. Wink Prince, Jr., "Out of the Woods."