by Howard Fast
For a number of years now, in the face of innumerable difficulties, George Marion has produced a series of books that mark him as one of the major journalists of our time. Whether he is writing about American expansion, the Soviet Union,the communist trial--or, as he does in this latest of his books, the over-fattened and corrupt monopoly press--he somehow manages to produce exciting and readable books, books jammed with facts, yet books that move with all the pace and suspense of first-rate melodrama.
This is not too surprising; for we live in times more dramatic and exciting than any the world ever knew, and the man who writes truthfully of these times must of necessity be a chronicler of great deeds and melodramatic events. The rub is that all too few here in America write either truthfully or honestly of what is happening today; and if such writing should, by some curious chance, be produced, there is no publisher who will dare bring it before the public.
One of the manifestations of today's America, with its witch-hunts, loyalty-trials, political prisoners and police terror, is the complete death of free book-publishing. Today, this is realized and accepted, and he who would write a book in the America ruled by Dwight Eisenhower and his cabinet of millionaires, must needs publish and distribute it as well. This is true of dozens of American authors who believe in the truth and the writing of the truth; but one of the very first to whom this happened was George Marion. Thus, with dogged persistency, he pioneered the way for a new kind of American publishing.
George Marion was for many years a skillful and respected writer on a large New York daily paper. A time came when he could no longer stomach the stream of filth, lies and libels that decorated the pages of this particular paper--whereupon he handed in his resignation and sat down to begin his informal history of the times in which we live, in effect a contemplative newspaper which he writes volume by volume. He finished the first book, the story of the hidden empire of the United States, and he discovered that no one would publish it. Instead of admitting defeat and putting the manuscript away, he organized his own publishing house, Fairplay Publishers, and brought out the book himself.
Fairplay Publishers made publishing history in America; it proved that a writer with determination and energy could produce and circulate books without depending on the big commercial publishers, and it created at least one more tiny window in the wall of falsehood which has been built about America. In each book which followed Bases and Empire, his first, George Marion adhered to the same standards of truth and journalistic excellence he had originally set.
Now he has completed and offers to the public a book about the press in America. For today, Stop the Press! is a very important and meaningful book. I read it with unflagging interest and excitement--with the same excitement that would be produced by a tale of high adventure and intrigue; for such, indeed, is the tale George Marion has chosen to tell, the tale of a press rigidly controlled, more ruthlessly directed against the welfare of the people than any other in all the world. Whereby, Stop the Press! becomes a must book for our time.
It is many years since any publisher dared to issue a book which cast reflections upon the honesty or the integrity of the monopoly press--or even one which admitted that there was a monopoly press in America. The reason for this is very simple. Such a book would be blanketed with silence; its author would be hounded and persecuted; its publisher might well be driven out of business.
It is up to his readers to see that none of this happens to George Marion, that his book obtains the widest circulation, and that the facts contained in it become widely known. This book tears away the glib veil of pretense from the face of America's war press. It tells why and how such a press came into being, and once having defined this monster, it proves that the intent of the monopoly press is contrary to every important need and welfare of the people.
Stop the Press! must not be blotted out with silence. It is too important that millions should read it. And George Marion is to be congratulated for having struck another important blow for peace and freedom.