Everyone who knew Robert Wood — LBJ's man to develop the Model Cities Program, President of the University of Massachusetts, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and author — has an anecdote about him.
He was that kind of man. You remembered him and if it was not quite in a way that was always warm and fuzzy, that delighted Bob for whom the battle of ideas was fought on a terrain where he, at least, did not know the meaning of running for intellectual cover. Nor, for that matter was he much inclined to take prisoners of sloppy thinking.
This issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy has two appreciations of Bob. Dick Hogarty and Marcy Murninghan were both proteges of his who worked closely with him at different phases of his multifaceted career.
We are also proud to publish the first extract from Bob's memoirs, not quite finished at the time of his death, but a manuscript, nevertheless, that covers in depth most of the major public policy issues he grappled with in his different public personae.
I began this editor's note with a reference to anecdotes, and I should add my own since it reveals a little known story of how Bob, when he was President of the University of Massachusetts, was instrumental in facilitating an event at UMass Amherst that had repercussions spanning twentyfive years and that secured for the university, especially the Boston campus, a small but important niche in the efforts to bring peace to Northern Ireland, a land that has not known peace for four hundred years.
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 20:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol20/iss2/2