Woodrow W. Mann was an unlikely hero of the American civil rights movement. It was Mann, who, as mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, asked President Dwight Eisenhower to send in soldiers to ensure the integration of the town's Central High School.
Yet Mann had never been a supporter of classroom integration. Rather, he saw himself as a practical and honest civil servant, committed to upholding the law of the land, who was forced to take a stand against the racist agitation of the state's governor, Orville Faubus. "Mann did what needed to be done and stood up," said Roy Reed, Faubus's biographer, "and it cost him whatever future he had in politics in Arkansas."