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Beyond Uhura - Star Trek and Other Memories Hardcover – October 19, 1994

32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Making books about Star Trek appears to have no end. This lastest entry is by the actress who played Lieutenant Uhura, communications officer on the Enterprise, and she has interesting stories to tell about her own life and struggles to remain a major character in the TV series and related films. As a young woman, Nichols achieved success as a singer-dancer, working with Duke Ellington and Katherine Dunham. After moving to the West Coast, she met and had a brief affair with Gene Roddenberry, who was simultaneously bedding the woman who became his second wife. The consequence of the affair, we are told, was that Roddenberry's attitude toward Nichols always had an element of the proprietary. He battled to cast this African American woman in a major role in the series, over the strong objections of studio executives. Given Nichols's great popularity, NASA hired her to recruit women and minorities. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Nichols, the first African American woman to have a major continuing role in TV, focuses on key points in her life, offering a well-written and melodious work depicting the life of a true heroine.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (October 19, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399139931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399139932
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on November 27, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This autobiography by Nichelle Nichols reflects upon her life, as a black actress, facing racism of her times and breaking them with certain amount of courage and skills. First half of the book retells the story of her life prior to Star Trek, her education, training and people whom she met, some who were helpful while others who were not. Her occasional slide into self praise is typical of many memoirs, not atypical.

But for most people who read this book, they read it because they are Star Trek fans and second part of the book don't disappointed them at all. She goes into all sort of interesting tales about her experiences in Star Trek that brought her to the forefront. Her story on how Martin Luther King talked her into staying on the show, her frustration with the limited role she was having and her relationships with her co-workers while still fighting occasional racism at the studios proves to be an set of very interesting and telling stories. She continued on with her stories on the Star Trek movies as well as her work with NASA.

Like Jimmy Doohan and George Takei books, Nichols seem to have problems with William Shatner. From the three of them, Shatner does not seem to be a very generous actor and by design or not, William Shatner often end up sounding like a self centered cad. Its interesting that almost every Star Trek actor have problems with Shatner. But she was generous enough to say that Shatner as a director of Star Trek V, was most wonderful person. Doohan and Takei had no kind words for Shatner in their books.

Intersting reading material for all Star Trek fans. Story of Nichelle Nichols proves to be one of courage and determination that marked her a very special woman. In some ways, that make the color of her skin immaterial in the end.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed Nichelle Nichol's autobiography, which lived up to its title. Like many fans of Star Trek, I'm interested as much in the actor's histories as I am in their experiences on the show. I very much enjoyed the chapter devoted to her family history,that led up to her life-long struggle to be treated with respect as a black performer during very racist times. It made me appreciate her accomplishments even more, and the unofficial campaign by network suits to diminish her role. Her autobiography goes beyond just an actor's memoir; she shares with the reader what it was like to be a struggling female minority actress (adversity times 3!), facing producers' lascivious advances, attempted rape, open racism, and stereotyping, and ultimately triumphing. The most fascinating part was her description of her experiences with black performers she met or worked with, from Redd Foxx to Sammy Davis Jr. Anyone who quibbles that she was the target of advances by many famous people only needs to see her photos; they'll change their opinions. This book is written in her own voice, without a ghostwriter or "editor". Definitely recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Where some have mentioned the author as coming across a bit narcissistic and perhaps as having embellished her memoirs, the read is still quite enjoyable. Having done as many different things and having met as many interesting people as Ms. Nichols has indeed done, it's not surprising that she may seem a little self impressed or perhaps even proud of her accomplishments. Regardless of what you think of her, the book itself is a light, good hearted, at times funny diversion. Trekkers will like the latter half more, but even the non-Trek stuff was rather interesting (not screamingly so, but nevertheless more than I had imagined.)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marysia Walpole on October 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. Nichelle tells lots of great stories. A couple of times it would get a little bogged down in details about all her various gigs, but for the most the book moved quickly. She begins with her multi-racial family living thru segregation. She goes on to tell stories about how her carreer evolved, her brush with gangsters running the entertainment industry, her relationship with Gene Roddenbery, how insensitive Bill Shatner was to his cast mates, and by contrast, how egalitarian Leonard Nimoy was, and about her work with NASA recruiting astronauts. There are many, many fascinating stories in this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Dickerson on April 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a fascinating read from beginning to end! Ms. Nichols struggle to achieve success as a black woman in a white-male dominated industry is enlightening and inspiring. She is a talented, compassionate, giving person which shines forth from the written word. I encourage you to purchase her cd as well, "Out Of This World" to hear her lovely voice and one of the best interviews I've heard. Also, check out the animated star trek series from the 70s where Lt. Uhura gets to finally serve as Captain (The Lorelei Signal episode)! She is also prominently featured in "The Slaver Weapon", "Once Upon A Planet" and "The Practical Joker" episodes and yes, it's her voice as the character. I read she and George Takei (Sulu) almost weren't a part of the animated series until Leonard Nimoy went to bat for them. My fantasy is to see Nichelle get a leading role in a movie, "Uhura's Song" (one of the Star Trek novels by Janet Kagan) perhaps? : - ) All hailing frequencies are eternally open for this dynamic lady.
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