Ray Bradbury's acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 was first published on October 19, 1953. Bradbury's story revolves around a fireman named Montag, who attempts to engage in intellectual pursuits by reading literature, which is considered illegal in the futuristic, dystopian society. Bradbury's novel is written during the contemporary/postmodern era (1945–present), which emerged from the bleak era of modernism, where authors expressed rather nihilistic views in their writing and portrayed a sense of disillusionment and loss following WWII throughout their work. The contemporary period was shaped by the Cold War and the significant cultural shifts taking place in America during the 1950s and 1960s. Bradbury's novel explores many popular themes examined by contemporary authors, who depict the impact of technology on society, individualism, conformity, atomic war, and intellectualism. Although Bradbury's work was published during the contemporary/postmodern era, his depiction of a shallow, meaningless existence in a destructive, superficial world reflects the modernist period.