'Fahrenheit 451' is Published

The book expands the concept of a short story that Bradbury wrote in 1947 under the titled “Bright Phoenix,” which was published in a revised form in Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1963.

Galaxy Science Fiction published an expanded version of the premise titled "The Fireman" in 1951. A serialized version of Fahrenheit 451appeared in the March, April, and May 1954 issues of Playboy Magazine. Fahrenheit 451 is twice as long as "The Fireman." Book burning and the memorization of text for preservation are the central actions of all three versions of the story.

More relevant than ever a half-century later, Fahrenheit 451 has achieved the rare distinction of being both a literary classic and a perennial best seller. While viewed as a science fiction work, Fahrenheit 451 has led to mainstream critical acclaim for Bradbury’s ability as a prose stylist and as a writer of ideas.

There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist / Zionist / Seventh-day Adventist / Women's Lib / Republican / Mattachine / FourSquareGospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse….Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by the minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the library closed forever.”

— Ray Bradbury