Predictions for the future

Bradbury described himself as “a preventorof futures, not a predictor of them.” He did not believe that book burning represented an inevitable part of the future; he wanted to warn against its development. In a later interview, when asked if he thinks that teaching Fahrenheit 451in schools will prevent his vision of the future, Bradbury replied in the negative. Instead, he states that education must be at the kindergarten and first-grade level. If pupils are unable to read then, they will be unable to read Fahrenheit 451.

On account of technology, Sam Weller noted that Bradbury “predicted everything from flat-panel televisions to earbud headphones and twenty-four-hour banking machines.”


Publication history

The first U.S. printing represented a paperback version from October 1953 by The Ballantine Publishing Group. Soon after the paperback, a hardcover version was released by introducing a special edition of 200 numbered and signed copies bound in asbestos. These were technically collections because the novel was issued with two short stories: And the Rock Cried Out and The Playground, which has been absent in later printings. Several months later, the story was serialized in the March, April, and May 1954 issues of nascent Playboymagazine. Expurgation Starting in January 1967, the book was subject to expurgation by its publisher, Ballantine Books, with the release of the “Bal-Hi Edition” intended at high school students. Changes made by the publisher included the censorship of the words “damn,” “hell,” and “abortion.” Seventy-five passages were modified, and two episodes were changed. For instance, in the one episode, a drunk man became a “sick man” while cleaning fluff out of a human navel became “cleaning ears” in the other. For a while, both the uncensored and censored versions were available concurrently, but by 1973 Ballantine was publishing only the edited version that continued until 1979 when the subject came to Bradbury’s attention. In 1979, one of Ray Bradbury’s friends showed him a censored version of the book. Bradbury demanded the withdrawal of that version and replacement of it with the original. In 1980 the original version bec

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