Quoted from the author's "Preface"
"THIS is the book of George Macdonald, hand, head and heart. It tells of his life and activities,
first as a farm boy, later as a laborer in the vineyard of Freethought. For upwards of fifty years he has been a part of that movement, at once the oldest and the newest, which seeks to make clear the truth that the melioration of man's condition — progress of any kind, in any degree — lies in reliance upon his own powers of reason and initiative, in nowise upon
dispensation and authority .
George E. Macdonald's own life peculiarly exemplifies this. Scarcely anybody ever gave him
anything, except an opportunity to work. From his earliest years there has always been something for George to do. How well he has done it shows in the vigorous survival of the paper upon which he has been engaged for half a century, a period during which journals of opinion have fallen leaf-like in shriveled hosts.
The Truth Seeker, like its editor, is hale and hearty. Subscribers stoutly and repeatedly as -
sure the one that the other is "better than ever." This, perhaps, is what accounts for the slight
flush always to be found upon his cheeks and which beams forth again as the rays of a genial sun. The humor of The Truth Seeker is proverbial and has as much to do with its popularity as its more solid qualities.
The chapters which follow appeared serially in The Truth Seeker during 1928 and 1929. The paper's files for fifty years back record the history of Freethought in detail, a moving pageant
in which its three editors take active and prominent parts. The present editor's life is so inextricably bound up with this journal's history as not to be separated from it without damage to the account. This circumstance only has moved him to include in the story of The Truth Seeker somewhat of him hitherto known as "We."
This work is intended to afford a reliable surview of the Rationalist movement in the United States for fifty years onward from 1875. That was the author's chief purpose in undertaking
it. Its production has occupied all of the editor's spare time for nearly two years. For foundation he applied himself to the rereading of the fifty-five bound volumes of The Truth
Seeker, light calisthenics for a man in his eighth decade. An equally valuable repository has been his mortmain memory, unassisted by diary or notes. A considerable correspondence, carried on without secretarial aid, was a third source. The subsigned, privileged to be his amanuensis in the preparation of the book, can certify that into it went enthusiasm and application, both unflagging, in equal parts."