When The War Came Home

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About Bill Newman

Bill Newman has been a civil rights and criminal defense attorney since 1976 and the director of the western Massachusetts office of the ACLU since 1987. He hosts a weekday radio talk show on WHMP and its affiliated stations in the Pioneer Valley, writes a regular column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette newspaper, and creates -- and is the voice of -- the Civil Liberties Minute®.

  1. Bill's reading at the Northfield Public Library in the Greenfield Recorder

    NORTHFIELD — Imagine yourself as a 20-year-old college student protesting the Vietnam War when all of a sudden 28 Ohio National Guardsmen start shooting into the crowd.

    What what you do?

    Around noon on May 4, 1970 at Kent State University, four students protesting the Vietnam War were killed and nine were injured after the guards opened fire.

    Bill Newman, a third year student at Antioch college at the time — three hours away from Kent State — thought this might be possible, talking among his friends saying the government could punish America’s disapproval with the war, but never in his wildest dreams did he imagine . . .

    Read More of Bill's reading at the Northfield Public Library in the Greenfield Recorder
  2. Massachusetts Review: Jim Hicks reviews When the War Came Home

    Even the chronologically earliest pages of When the War Came Home, Newman’s diary entries from the days surrounding the May 4, 1970 killings at Kent State, evince the incisive wit and wisdom that he will hone to perfection—both in his newspaper columns and during the interviews on his radio show—in the years to come. After writing a brief memo to Nixon, his college-student self observes: “I know that Nixon doesn’t pay any attention to what I have to say… There’s a certain equipoise here because I don’t pay too much attention to what Nixon has to say. I take that back—actually I do pay attention to his words. I just don’t believe any of them” (20). A prophetic sentiment.

    Read More of Massachusetts Review: Jim Hicks reviews When the War Came Home
  3. Interview: WGBY's Connecting Point

    WGBY's Connecting Point invited me to talk about When the War Came Home, among other things.

    Read More of Interview: WGBY's Connecting Point
  4. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

    By Peter Elikann
    At first glance, there might be a rush to judgment that this collection of essays by Bill Newman, storied civil rights lawyer and head of the western regional office of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, might not focus solely on the law and justice.

    While Newman – whose column appeared for decades in the Daily Hampshire Gazette – writes of his immersion on the front lines of “the agonies of our times" as he engages in such serious legal issues as the Patriot Act, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the anti-war movement and the death penalty, also included in the collection are commentaries on parenting, his childhood, sports, pets and nature.

    But a presumption that this work strays from the law and justice could not be more wrong. ...

    Read More of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
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The Civil Liberties Minute

Taking on injustices, 90 seconds at a time! The Civil Liberties Minute podcasts — with attorney Bill Newman, director of the ACLU's Western Massachusetts office — highlight threats to civil liberties and what you can do to protect freedom!

Recent Civil Liberties Minutes More
  • Donald Trump's prisons
  • Donald Trump v. Sanctuary Cities
  • What's the fine when you're innocent?
  • In 2017, will the death penalty die?
The Bill Newman Show More

Weekdays at 9AM (and again at 6PM)

Join Bill & Monte Belmonte as they talk with newsmakers, authors, artists, poets, and ‘fish wrap’ about the day’s headlines.

Recent Bill Newman Shows
  • The Bill Newman Show 1/20/2017


    The Supreme Judicial Court decision on the Massachusetts drug lab scandal with ACLU of Massachusetts attorney Adriana Lafaille; robots at the Sci-Tech Cafe with MHC physics prof. Kathy Aidala and UMass College of Information and Computer Sciences prof. Joydeep Biswas; Inside/Out with UMass Museum of Contemporary Art curator Eva Fierst.

    Click here to listen.

  • The Bill Newman Show 1/19/2017

    The Turners Falls Indian mascot displayed on the box office outside the football field at the high school and Great Falls Middle School on Turnpike Road in Turners Falls.

    The Turners Falls High School controversy over the school “mascot” (a Native American) with Rhonda Anderson, Laurie Leyshon and Amalia FourHawks; Rev. Peter Ives, Rabbi Justin David, Professors Carlie Tartakov and Gary Tartakov on this weekend marches and protests.

    Click here to listen.

  • The Bill Newman Show 1/18/2017


    Max Page and UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford on the future (or not?) of UMass football; state rep Aaron Vega joins Natalia Munoz on Vaya con Munoz.

    Click here to listen.

  • The Bill Newman Show 1/17/2017


    Jane Yolen with Rich Michelson on  “Before the Election/After (the Election);” Sheryl Stoodley and  Robin Doty from Serious Play and acclaimed poet Doug Anderson on “In These Dark Times, Let There Be Song;” and the Comedy Quiz Show with the Ha Has Laura Patrick &  Pam Victor and Quizmaster Heidi Nortonsmith.

    Click here to listen.