“Bring the War Home,” which had been a rallying cry of the anti-Vietnam-War movement, was transformed on May 4, 1970 into a macabre irony when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student anti-war protesters at Kent State, killing four and wounding nine.

Many, certainly not all, of the anti-war student activists were chauvinist, privileged, white men.  Those cadres of the movement got a lot wrong then, but as the LGBT, environmental, and anti-war movements that followed have proven, they also had some core beliefs that were right.  And while those 1960s activists most assuredly won’t achieve anything close to the idealism they purportedly believed in at that time, their kids just might.  When the War Came Home tells that story.

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Bill Newman has been the Director of the Western Massachusetts Office of the American Civil Liberties Union for more than a quarter century.  He won the first gay custody case to go before a state supreme court; successfully defended formerly underground radicals charged with seditious conspiracy; and has vindicated the rights of protesters and agitators throughout his career.  He also is a newspaper columnist, the host of a highly-regarded weekday radio talk show, and the author and voice of The Civil Liberties Minute®.

About this book Noam Chomsky writes, “Drawing from rich personal engagement, vividly portrayed, Bill Newman . . . capture[s] the courage and commitment of the young activists of the 1960s, the civilizing effect on the country in the years that have followed, and the shameful abuses that plague the society today.  An enlightening collection, inspiring and often shocking.”

Susan Herman, President of the American Civil Liberties Union says, “Journalist, poet, lawyer, and civil libertarian, Bill Newman’s gimlet-eyed essays provide . . . nothing less than an expertly-guided tour of recent American history and timeless American values.”

“Bill Newman is a born writer – observant, thoughtful, meticulous, imaginative, enthralled by the power and beauty of language, and obsessive about getting life down on paper before the moment and the meaning dissipate.  So why has he spent his productive life toiling in the law and, lately, on radio?  With “When the War Came Home” we now know.  By turns wise and funny, heartfelt and searing, the book is a mosaic of a well-spent life . . .  His descriptions of the brutality and injustices of our penal system will make you gasp and scream and weep; his paeans to his daughters, dogs, baseball and the glories of the natural world glitter poetically.  Bill writes the way he talks, in a voice that demands – and deserves, and ultimately rewards – our close attention.”

– Barry Werth, author of The Antidote: Inside The World Of New Pharma and The Scarlet Professor

  • “Drawing from rich personal engagement, vividly portrayed, Bill Newman’s columns and commentary capture the courage and commitment of the young activists of the 1960s, the civilizing effect on the country in the years that have followed, and the shameful abuses that plague the society today. An enlightening collection, inspiring and often shocking.”

    — Noam Chomsky – MIT Professor Emeritus
  • “Bill Newman writes about the challenges of our times with passion, grace and clarity . . . a must-read for his many fans, myself included.”

    — Congressman Jim McGovern
  • “Journalist, poet, lawyer, and civil libertarian Bill Newman’s gimlet-eyed essays provide witty, perceptive, and often highly personal insights into the civil rights crucible of the 1960s and 1970s, the current incarnations of our battle for the American soul (a war that has stayed at home), and much more. His book is nothing less than an expertly guided tour of recent American history and timeless American values.”

    — Susan Herman, President, American Civil Liberties Union
  • “Provocative, insightful, and heart-warming . . . a sheer delight.”

    — Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action and The Lost Painting
  • “If you lived through the ‘60s you want to read this book. If you didn’t, it will make you feel like you did. Newman links intimate personal experience with the political tumult of an era that transformed his generation and a nation.”

    — Josh Silver, Director, Represent.Us, CEO, United Republic
  • “With wit, wisdom, and humor, Bill Newman takes readers on a journey through . . . decades of issues at the forefront of public discussion and private debate . . . a memoir that inspires others to meet the demands of social justice.”

    — Lynn Pasquerella, President, Mount Holyoke College
  • “If you’ve ever heard Bill Newman on his radio show or in a courtroom . . . you know he is smart, articulate, irreverent, and passionate – just as he is in this book.”

    — Jane Yolen, author of The Devil’s Arithmetic, Owl Moon, and Ekaterinoslav: A Memoir In Verse
  • “What distinguishes this book . . . is its literary grace [and] love of language . . . an unsentimental but uplifting vision . . . a book for everyone to read and treasure.”

    — Jules Chametzky, Professor emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; founder and Editor emeritus, The Massachusetts Review
  • “Bill Newman is . . . a compassionate human being. He cares deeply about the rights and freedoms of all of us, and by the time you finish reading When The War Came Home, you will, too. This is an intimate, generous, thought-provoking collection written with wit, candor, and heart.”

    — Lesléa Newman, Author of October Mourning: A Song For Matthew Shepard
  • “Deeply moving, extremely insightful, surprisingly provocative, and often funny, When The War Came Home is engaging and inspiring. I hope this book is volume 1 of a series!”

    — Rev. Andrea Avazian
  • “Bill Newman . . . gives us a lens to see how the powers that be need to be transformed today can be transformed. To read this book is to know why we, in the words of Hebrew scripture, ‘need his voice for just such a time as this.’”

    — Rev. Peter Ives, the reverend of the “Reverend and the Rabbi” on the Bill Newman Radio Show
  • “A history of the peace and justice movement . . . told with humor and heart, social justice and sex, weeping and weed.”

    — Monte Belmonte, radio host on 93.9/The River and co-host of the Bill Newman Radio Show
  • “This book is a welcome reminder that America’s cultural revolution was about more than sex, drugs, and music. It was about justice and equality and a healthy skepticism of authority. Bill Newman does his generation proud.”

    — Attorney Richard Evans, drug reform advocate, former Board Member, NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws)
  • “It helps to remember . . . that soldiers waged war at Kent State, that some of us were alive at the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, that other births are at the core of who we are. When The War Came Home serves us well.”

    — Jon Weissman, Coordinator, Western Mass. Jobs with Justice
  • “Bill Newman is a born writer – observant, thoughtful, meticulous, imaginative, enthralled by the power and beauty of language, and obsessive about getting life down on paper before the moment and the meaning dissipate. So why has he spent his productive life toiling in the law and, lately, on radio? With “When the War Came Home” we now know. By turns wise and funny, heartfelt and searing, the book is a mosaic of a well-spent life . . . His descriptions of the brutality and injustices of our penal system will make you gasp and scream and weep; his paeans to his daughters, dogs, baseball and the glories of the natural world glitter poetically. Bill writes the way he talks, in a voice that demands – and deserves, and ultimately rewards – our close attention.”

    — Barry Werth, author of The Antidote: Inside The World Of New Pharma and The Scarlet Professor