Can you give some information to the time/background about when Fahrenheit 451 was written?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953 by Ray Bradbury, characterized some of the then recent world history immediately before and after World War II.  Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, the main combatants in the Second World War, both had established totalitarian governments which controlled all aspects of an individual's life; deviation from the established order was considered a threat by those in power and was the unpardonable crime:

Fahrenheit 451 was written at a time when censorship was very much a reality both abroad and at home. In Nazi Germany, Hitler had tried to control the thoughts of the masses by burning thousands of books that he saw as a threat to his regime. In the Communist Soviet Union, Stalin did much the same thing, censoring materials that reflected badly on him or his government.

Unfortunately, the United States also engaged in censorship, requiring textbook review by the US House of Representative's Un-American Activities Committee, which also went so far as to also burn books, and began the "witch hunt" under Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Most ironically, Fahrenheit 451 was, in a very 1984 style, altered by having pages removed and passages expurgated in the 1960's without Bradbury's consent. He fought to withdraw the bogus edition, stating: “I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book.”  Tragically, it's been discovered that other books have been similarly altered.  See more at the link:

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Fahrenheit 451

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