Just finished re-reading Fahrenheit 451 for a book club tonight. Some thoughts. it seems to me it is another book in a long list of books that everyone knows but few people have read and those that haven’t read it think they know what it’s about but really have no idea which is ironic since it’s a book about people not knowing the importance of books. It made me think a lot about apathy, how media can bend opinion and make us cold to human suffering how because we are seeing it on TV it can seem distant not real, happening to someone else. The book also made me think about mass surveillance and how we give it up slowly without noticing or because we think that kind of spying will only be used for good or not on people ‘like us’ It made me think about Nineteen-Eighty-Four and how the dystopia happens without even being noticed how we live in it and don’t even know it. Books like this also make me realize how little male authors think about how racism and misogyny play into creating these dystopian problems. All the books that the men in the resistance are remembering are written by men. Everything comes crashing down and we remember the men first when we rebuild. The women and poc get lost to history, found again like needles in haystacks by only the most dedicated people. Maybe if we remembered them first we wouldn’t keep making these same mistakes. We keep rebuilding on the same civilization on the same foundation and expecting different results.

an article about Fahrenheit 451

Bradbury still has a lot to say, especially about how people do not understand his most literary work, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. It is widely taught in junior high and high schools and is for many students the first time they learn the names Aristotle, Dickens and Tolstoy.

Now, Bradbury has decided to make news about the writing of his iconographic work and what he really meant. Fahrenheit 451 is not, he says firmly, a story about government censorship. Nor was it a response to Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose investigations had already instilled fear and stifled the creativity of thousands.

This, despite the fact that reviews, critiques and essays over the decades say that is precisely what it is all about. Even Bradbury’s authorized biographer, Sam Weller, in The Bradbury Chronicles, refers to Fahrenheit 451 as a book about censorship.

Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature. {Read}