Greeley & Stone, Publishers

Independent Social Issues Journalism

Before The First Snow
By Walter M. Brasch

About The Book
Birmingham. Delano. Chicago. Kent State.

War. The Environment. Worker Exploitation.

HippiesYippies. Cops and politicians.


People were marching. People were protesting.


The news media reported, editorialized, lampooned, misreported, and scornfully dismissed the new social movements forged from alienation. And then the revolution of the 1960s evolved into the "Me generation."


But one person never lost her principles. Apryl Greene, now in her early 40s, is a musician and freelance photographer for labor unions. While others around her are working to own a piece of America, she continues to try to improve it. Two decades after the revolution of the 1960s, she wants to build the first school for peace and the arts. But, powerful forces from both private industry and the government have already begun a process to legally seize the 40 acres of land she owns in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, and to destroy her dream, while the nation is rushing to war in the Middle East, torn between its dependence upon oil and the problems of "clean" nuclear energy production.


Into her life comes social activist David Ascher, cynical, liberal, and burdened with the responsibilities of being executive editor of one of the nation's largest magazines. On tour to promote his book about revolutionary journalists, he's looking for another story; she's after something more important. Together, they are driven to find out who are trying to seize her land; more important, why.


Award-winning journalist Walter M. Brasch meticulously builds a scenario of greed, corruption, and intrigue, set against the backdrop of social protest, and in so doing, weaves a compelling story of history and contemporary American culture and values.
About The Author
Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D., is an award-winning syndicated social issues columnist. He is a former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, multimedia multi-screen writer-producer, and retired professor of mass communications and journalism. He is also the author of 15 other books, most of them focusing upon the fusion of historical and contemporary social issues.


He has been a social activist since the mid-1960s. Currently, he is co-founder and vice-president of the Northeast Pennsylvania Homeless Alliance and vice-president of the Central Susquehanna Chapter of the ACLU.

Critical Acclaim


"An exceptional writer" - Michael Blake, Dances With Wolves

"First-rate fiction that explores and contemplates modern American history, culture, politics and journalism. A rare combination of excellent fiction-writing and deep thought. Wonderful story-telling interwoven with sharp insights about our times and culture. There are so many fresh sunbursts of thought in this book that I lost count. What Brasch and his characters have to say about the intermingling of  corporate and government power alone makes this book worth reading -but it is rich in illumination of many other important issues we all should be pondering. You can't put it down while reading it, and can't forget it after you've finished it." -Dan Rather

"Walter Brasch has a winner here, with strong characters, great writing, and an engaging plot. You won't regret starting it. You'll be sad when you've finished because you'll be wanting more." -Rob Kall, editor, OpEd News

"This is an outstanding novel .The even numbered chapters are journalistic literature at its very best, as Apryl Greene, the embodiment of the hopes and dreams of the young boomers, makes her way through the second half of the twentieth century. In the odd-numbered chapters, we learn that she did not lose her way, as many did, but instead had to find a way to pursue her dream in a world that was rotating out from under her. This is a timely message of hope that many of us have almost lost. The characters are well drawn and sympathetic. Even the villains are not evil people; they are just lost; they are very real, very human, and very believable. Dr. Brasch has brought back many memories, fond and otherwise, and raised again in my mind the old question - What happened? Where did the '60s go? And why?" - Norm Phelps, author, The Longest Struggle: Animal Rights from Pythagoras to Peta and The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible

“Brasch is an articulate and entertaining writer, whose research doesn’t hinder but establishes credibility to his story.” —Regina Huelman, editor, Liberal Opinion Week

“A very creative mind that grapples with the most basic of political problems and emerges with a feast of ideas and insight that will stay with you for a long time.” —Joe Shea, Editor-in-Chief, The American Reporter


" A Beautiful-written and powerful look at humanity and the reverence of life as seen through the lives of social activists who never lost hope, and the reporter who covered her story."  -Heidi Prescott, Senior vice-president, Humane Society of the United states


" Walter Brasch is the master of the literary vignette" Dr. Donald Bird, former chair, journalism, Long Island University

"This is a brilliant book that touches the nerve of where political decisions intersect with the pulse of what is to be human. The characters and events are vivid and the momentum is never lost. the layers of the plot and characterization work because of the writing style is so fresh and clear" — Dr. Ron Primeau, professor of English, Central Michigan University

  "A good story layered with nostalgia for the way things were and the way they are."  -R. Thomas Berner, professor emeritus of journalism and American Studies, Penn State; author, The Literature of Journalism

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