FBI suspected ‘Fahrenheit 451’ author Ray Bradbury of Communist sympathies
The Federal Bureau of Investigation suspected “Fahrenheit 451” author Ray Bradbury of being a member of the Communist Party in the late 1950s and 1960s during the height of the “second red scare.”
According to documents obtained by The Daily Caller via a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI kept tabs on the celebrated author from 1959 to 1969 because it considered the field of science fiction writing “fertile” ground for Communist development.
Bradbury, who is most well-known for his dystopian 1953 novel, wrote several volumes of short stories, plays and screenplays. He died on June 5 of this year at the age of 91.
An informant based in Los Angeles, where Bradbury lived for all of his adult life, warned the FBI that the author had voiced his opposition to Sen. Joe McCarthy and even took out a paid ad in the Los Angeles Times to denounce McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee.
The FBI also laid out its suspicion of science fiction writers and their role in promoting Communism:
“Informant stated that the aim of these science fiction writers is to frighten the people into a state of paralysis or psychological incompetence bordering on hysteria which would make it very possible to conduct a Third World War in which American people would seriously believe could not be won since their morale had been seriously destroyed.”
In 1968 the FBI flagged Bradbury for attempting to get permission to enter Cuba, but later concluded that it had been a “Roy Bradbury” and not the famed author.
In one of the last documents, dated 1969, the FBI concluded that Bradbury did not have Communist sympathies and “does not possess informant potential.”