Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

A History of Star Trek and America

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

A History of Star Trek and America

Article excerpt

A History of Star Trek and America M. Keith Booker. Star Trek: A Cultural History. 192pp. ISBN: 978-15381-1275-5. Lexington Books: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.

Unlike the previous few books I reviewed from Rowman, this one is more organized and focused. The chapters promise to discuss the history of Star Trek, of American science fiction, and then to connect the show to American history and the history of technology, as well as covering its fans. This type of coverage should be more useful for students who are writing research papers on this popular show. It is difficult to imagine a student sitting through a book about beautiful corpses, but this study should allow them to find specific types of information that might help them make a strong argument in a research paper. The front and back matter is useful in this regard, with a timeline summarizing the series, an index, and episode summaries (which are for some reason marked with different numbers of stars as they are reviewed for relative quality by the authors). The book is illustrated with some black and white stills from the show, which are necessary when discussing a visual medium.

One problem that becomes apparent in the opening of the "Introduction" is that while the episodes in the back are rated, the book as a whole is propagating the grandeur of this series as "the single most important work ever produced by American popular culture" (xi). …

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