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The Temperature at which Books Burn

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By Richard A. Widmann.

Book burning

Amazon joins the ranks of book burners

For twenty years, I have been commenting on how the themes and plot of Ray Bradbury’s dystopian tale of book-burning Fahrenheit 451 are coming to pass. My initial article on this subject was entitled, “How Fahrenheit 451 Trends Threaten Intellectual Freedom.”[1] My friend Bradley Smith initially published it on the original CODOH Website in 1997. From then, it was revised and reprinted several times. In 1998 it was translated and published in German. It was also included in the Greenhaven Press Readings on Fahrenheit 451 as part of their Literary Companion Series.[2] The article was also published in the short-lived journal The Revisionist[3] where it was distributed to college students as an insert in their campus newspapers. Ironically professors and students on the campus of St. Cloud University chose to burn the offending journal.[4] Indeed, acts of book burning and censorship are a threat to today’s supposedly democratic societies and our notions of intellectual freedom.

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