Star Trek, History and Us

Reflections of the Present and Past Throughout the Franchise


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About the Book

Since 1966, the Star Trek television franchise has used outer space and the thrilling adventures of the crews of the U.S.S. Enterprise to reflect our own world and culture. Kirk and Spock face civil rights issues and Vietnam war allegories while Picard, Data, and the next generation seek an ordered, post-Cold War stability in the Reagan era. The crews of Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise must come to terms with our real life of war, manifest destiny in the 21st century, and the shadow of 9/11. Now, as the modern era of the franchise attempts to portray a utopia amidst a world spinning out of control, Star Trek remains about more than just the future. It is about our present. It is about us. This book charts the history of Gene Roddenberry’s creation across five decades alongside the cultural development of the United States and asks: are we heading for the utopian Federation future, or is it slipping ever further away from reality?

About the Author(s)

A.J. Black writes and podcasts about popular culture in entertainment on his blog Cultural Conversation and podcast network “We Made This.” He lives in Wiltshire, England.

Bibliographic Details

A.J. Black

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 202
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8169-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4322-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface: A Primitive Culture 1
1. The 1960s 5
2. The 1970s and 1980s 43
3. The 1990s 78
4. The 21st Century (So Far) 115
Epilogue: Getting from Here to There 155
Chapter Notes 161
Bibliography 181
Index 185