The 40th Anniversary of Fahrenheit 451

At the outset I must admit that this is probably the most outrageous piece of logrolling you have laid eyes on in a generation. Yet, reading over Professor Trout's essay, I gave in to temptation and herewith add my analysis and recommendation. I do so mainly because we have moved quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, into the dim years of political correctness, in which we put silencers not only on guns but on mouths. Someone said to me recently, aren't you afraid? No, I said, I never react in fear; I react in anger. As with graffiti, you must counterattack within the moment, not a day, a month, or a year later. All the politically correct terrorists must be driven back into the stands. There is no place for them in the open field of democratic ballplaying. There is room only for Kipling and his Empire, Mark Twain and his Nigger Jim, Dickens and his Fagin, Shakespeare and his Shylock, and Conan Doyle's Holmes, opiate needle in hand. I did not, 40 years ago, predict. I observed tendencies or wrote doubts. Today, there is no fear of book-burners, only nonteachers and nonreaders, which means no need of books and so no burning. I will not press these observations further. Professor Trout has done the job for me. And, since you are a reader—read on.

—Ray Bradbury 

Last year was the 40th anniversary of the publication of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's...

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