Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found. The title refers to the temperature that Bradbury asserted to be the autoignition temperature of paper. (In reality, scientists place the autoignition temperature of paper anywhere from high 440 degrees Fahrenheit to some 30 degrees hotter, depending on the study and type of paper.)
The novel has been the subject of interpretations focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. In a 1956 radio interview, Bradbury stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he stated his motivation for writing the book in more general terms.
In 1954, Fahrenheit 451 won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal. It has since won the Prometheus "Hall of Fame" Award in 1984 and a 1954 "Retro" Hugo Award, one of only four Best Novel Retro Hugos ever given, in 2004. Bradbury was honored with a Spoken Word Grammy nomination for his 1976 audiobook version.
Adaptations include François Truffaut's film adaptation of the novel in 1966, and a BBC Radio dramatization was produced in 1982. Bradbury published a stage play version in 1979 and helped develop a 1984 interactive fiction computer game titled Fahrenheit 451, released in 2010 with a collection of his short stories, A Pleasure to Burn.
On December 21, 2015, the Internet Engineering Steering Group approved the publication of An HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles, which specifies that websites forced to block resources for legal reasons should return a status code of 451 when users request those resources.
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