Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Star Trek and History is an unlicensed reference book that explores the relationship between the then-entire Star Trek body of television and film productions and the real world in all its aspects, ranging from history through science and philosophy to pop culture.

Author/Editor Reagin, a history professor holding three academic degrees, was chairwoman of the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at the The State University of New Jersey at the time of her writing. [1] Her book therefore is a work of academia, exempt from copyright issues, and written from a historical point-of-view.

Summary Edit

A guide to the history that informs the world of Star Trek – just in time for the next JJ Abrams Star Trek movie
From the back cover
For a series set in our future, Star Trek revisits the past constantly. Kirk and Spock battle Nazis, Roman gladiators, and witness the Great Depression. When they're not doubling back on their own earlier timelines, the crew uses the holodeck to spend time in the American Old West or Victorian England. Alien races have their own complex and fascinating histories, too.
The Star Trek universe is a sci-fi imagining of a future world that is rooted in our own Human history. Gene Roddenberry created a television show with a new world and new rules in order to comment on social and political issues of the 1960s, from the Vietnam War and race relations to the war on terror and women's rights. Later Star Trek series and films also grapple with the issues of their own decades: HIV, ecological threats, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and terrorism.
How did Uhura spur real-life gender and racial change in the 1960s? Is Kirk inextricably linked with the mythical Old West? What history do the Klingons share with the Soviet Union? Can Nazi Germany shed light on the history and culture of the Cardassians? Star Trek and History explains how the holodeck is as much a source for entertainment as it is a historical teaching tool, how much of the technology we enjoy today had its conceptual roots in Star Trek, and how by looking at Norse mythology we can find our very own Q.
  • Features an exclusive interview with Nichelle Nichols, the actress behind the original Lt. Uhura, conducted at the National Air and Space Museum
  • Explains the historical inspiration behind many of the show's alien races and storylines
  • Covers topics ranging from how stellar cartography dates back to Ancient Rome, Greece, and Babylonia to how our "Great Books" of western literature continue to be an important influence to Star Trek's characters of the future
  • Includes a timeline comparing the stardates of Star Trek's timeline to our own real world history
Filled with fascinating historical comparisons, Star Trek and History is an essential companion for every Star Trek fan.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.


  • Acknowledgments
  • A Timeline of Stardates
  • Star Trek Series and Movie Titles
  • Introduction
  • Part One: Characters [Are] Welcome: Backstories
    • Chapter 1: Riding Posse on the Final Frontier
      • Western Culture Lassos Eastern Hearts?
      • Noble Savages in the Neutral Zone
      • The Federation's Manifest Destiny
      • JFK, JTK, and the Final New Frontier
    • Chapter 2: More Than "Just Uhura"
      • "Changing the Way People See Us"
      • "The Next Einstein Might Have a Black Face"
      • "Be Careful What You Wish For"
      • "Was I Not One of Your Top Students?"
    • Chapter 3: The Compassionate Country Doctor and Cold-Blooded Biomedicine
      • The Country Doctor and Biomedical Science at the Crossroads
      • Dr. Bones McCoy: Marcus Welby in Space
      • Bones and Spock at the Heart of the Matter
    • Chapter 4: Who Is Q?
      • Testing Humanity and the Frankenstein Complex
      • The Shifting Faces of Q
      • It’s a Hell of a Life, Jean-Luc
      • The Coyote Parallel
  • Part Two: Kirk and Spock Take on Earth History
    • Chapter 5: The Final Reflection?
      • "We Need No Urging to Hate Humans"
      • Too Klingon to Be Human
      • Hell Hath No Fury...
      • Foreign Engagements
      • "What Hope Is There for the Empire?"
    • Chapter 6: Vietnam, Star Trek, and the Real Future
      • Vietnam Genesis, Cosmic Exodus
      • Wars for Peace?
      • The Enterprise Changes Course!
    • Chapter 7: You're Doing It Wrong
      • Gangsters in Space
      • The Accidental Time Travelers
      • The Historian's Folly
      • The Rise of the Nazis
      • Explaining the Holocaust
      • The Rome That Never Fell
      • Back from the Future
      • Doing it Wrong
    • Chapter 8: If This Is the (Final) Frontier, Where Are the Natives?
      • No One Here but Us Noble Savages
      • A Cartoon but Not a Caricature
      • You Can Tell by Their Outfits
      • Boldly Going... a Step Backward
      • Does Out of Sight Mean Out of Mind?
      • Who Mourns for Chakotay and His Imaginary Tribe?
      • A Mixed Grade for a Mixed Legacy
    • Chapter 9: Terrorizing Space
      • One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's George Washington
      • "They're Terrorists, Dammit": So Let's Negotiate with Them
      • The Terrorists Among Us
      • The Xindi as al-Qaeda
    • Chapter 10: To Boldly Go When No One Has Gone
      • Before (or After)
      • The Directive
      • Time Travel: Possibilities and Paradoxes
      • The Observation Effect, Butterflies, and Further Causality
      • Paradoxes
      • Violating the Temporal Prime Directive versus Preserving the Timeline
      • Conclusions and Continuums
  • Part Three: Future Culture
    • Chapter 11: Shakespeare (and the Rest of the Great Books) in the Original Klingon
      • A Fondness for Antiques
      • "You Do Have Books in the Twenty-fourth Century?"
      • I Wrote It Again Yesterday
      • "Actually, I Never Read It"
      • Dammit Jim, I'm a Doctor, Not a Literary Historian!
    • Chapter 12: Information Technology in Star Trek
      • I Can Has Internet?
      • Techies for Trekkies
      • The Android with a Billion Apps (or: Why Don't I Have Cool Stuff Like That?)
      • Jean-Luc Picard Has Joined Faceborg
    • Chapter 13: History on the Holodeck
      • The Big Goodbye
      • A Fistful of Datas
      • Elementary, My Dear Data
      • A New Life-Form Rides the Orient Express
      • Behaving Badly on the Holodeck
      • Edutainment of the Future
    • Chapter 14: Why Star Trek's Cartography Is So Stellar, or How the Borg Mapped/Changed Everything
      • Lines, Logs, and a Frenchman Named Picard
      • A History of Star Trek's Cartography
      • Über-mapping the Unimatrix: The Borg Shift
      • It's All Over: The Map
    • Chapter 15: Who's the Devil?
      • Live and Let Live
      • What We Don't Know Can Hurt Us
      • Intervening to Right Past Wrongs
      • The Enterprise's Evolving Environmental Mission
  • Part Four: Other Races Have Histories Too, You Know
    • Chapter 16: Nothing Unreal Exists
      • "Vulcan Is Not My Idea of Fun": Life on a Desert Planet
      • Is Biology Destiny?: The Nature of Vulcan Difference
      • "Vulcans. Deep Down, You're All Just a Bunch of Hypochondriacs": The Dreaded Vulcan Sex Drive
      • "My Mind to Your Mind... My Thoughts to Your Thoughts..."
      • The Animalistic Past: Ancient Vulcan and the Rise of Surak
      • The Time of Awakening
      • Relationships with the Galactic Community
      • Reformation
      • The Federation and Beyond
      • Logic Is the Cement of Our Civilization: Vulcan "Humanism"
      • Logic Is the Beginning of Wisdom, Not the End
    • Chapter 17: Alien Babes and Alternate Universes
      • I Am the Goddess of Empathy: The Women of The Next Generation
      • Warrior Women
      • A Commanding Woman
      • To Boldly Go... or Not
      • New Civilizations, Old Patterns
    • Chapter 18: Klingons
      • The Savage Race of Klingons
      • The Medieval Mirror
      • Kahless the Unforgettable and Karolus Magnus
      • "Even Half Drunk, Klingons Are among the Best Warriors in the Galaxy"
    • Chapter 19: Nazis, Cardassians, and Other Villains in the Final Frontier
      • Nazis in the Star Trek Canon
      • The History of the Cardassian Empire
      • The Nazis of Star Trek
      • Cardassians Aren't Always Nazis; Sometimes They're Soviets
      • The Place of Cardassians in Star Trek History
  • Negotiating the Legacy of Star Trek and Its Fans
  • Starfleet Academy Instructors
  • Index: Databanks

Background informationEdit

  • Considering the scope of her work, Reagin invited a range of fellow academics, more versed in a particular subject matter, to contribute texts for particular chapters or sections thereof. All of them, quite a few of them self-professed "Trekkies" like Reagin herself (who was inspired by the Guardian of Forever in "The City on the Edge of Forever" to pursue a history career), are dutifully credited in the "Starfleet Academy Instructors" closing section.
  • The "Vietnam Genesis, Cosmic Exodus" section of chapter 6 deals with the 1992-1993 Star Trek Smithsonian Exhibit (and its environs) and was written by its then-Advisory Curator H. Bruce Franklin, who had initiated the exhibition. A latter-day Smithsonian Institution successor of Franklin and academic colleague of Raegin, Margaret A. Weitekamp, also contributed to the book. Weitekamp, a closet Trekkie, gained Star Trek renown as the overall project supervisor for the 2014-2016 fourth restoration of the original 11-foot Enterprise studio model.
  • Similar works Reagin has written as well include the Twilight, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings pop-culture franchises.

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