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Living with Star Trek: American Culture and the Star Trek Universe

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Author(s): Lincoln Geraghty
Publisher: I.B. Tauris
Published: 12 June 2007
Pages: 240
Reference(s): ISBN 1845114213 (hardcover)
ISBN 1845112652 (paperback)

SummaryEdit

From the back cover
Lincoln Geraghty has written an original and revelatory contribution to the world of Star Trek. He sets Star Trek in dialogue with ideas and stories of utopia, community, and self-improvement that are central to American culture and history. He goes on to examine the ways in which these are taken up and used by fans, who engage with Star Trek's different series and films in complex and significant ways.
The book first examines Star Trek's use of history, narrative, and myth to tell its futuristic stories: referring back to the past to prophesy a better future. It reveals in particular how Star trek has used the Puritan American Jeremiad, one of the American nation's foundational texts, to create a narrative text that relates how through communal effort and personal change, utopia can be attained.
The book goes on to discuss how fans, informed by these stories and myths, tap into Star Trek to fulfill needs and desires in their own daily lives – to cope, for example, with personal trauma. They relate, too, to characters like Data and Seven of Nine in moments of personal transformation. Fans also truly engage in a reciprocal relationship with the programme, where they can criticise it as well as use it as a form of motivation, and they go outside their own lives to define the series as a blueprint for the solution of such social problems in America as racism and war. This is an enjoyable and very revealing book on Star Trek's active relationship with its many thoughtful fans.

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