Prometheus’s Fire or Pandora’s Box?

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger Without doubt, the study of science and technology is right now about as sexy as anyone can imagine, at least when it comes to the education of American Youth.  Yes, indeed, local TV stations play up the “STEM” curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as the greatest thing since sliced […]

“…and damn’d lying”

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger Each year the stalwart Interpreters of Saratoga National Historical Park are called upon to make a report of their annual activities.  The Servicewide Interpretive Report takes in numbers of visitor contacts, what, how much and where money is spent.  A two-page delight of numbers only relieved by a brief narrative […]

Casting a Giant Shadow

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger It is regrettable, but probably understandable that the battles of Saratoga are always under the shadow of Gettysburg.  Besides comparisons of their historic importance, even our exhibits come up for comparison to the “Budweiser of American History”.  Many visitors comment how the fibre optic map at Saratoga’s visitor center is […]

Child’s Play

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger ‘Shooting became just like drinking a glass of water’ Ishmael Beah, In his book A Long Way Gone, former child soldier, Ishmael Beah unblinkingly told of the horrors of the civil war Sierra Leone (1991-2002).  Kidnapped and forced into becoming a soldier by one of the splinter groups, Beah participated […]


By Joe Craig, Park Ranger Some of our visitors here at Saratoga NHP are Revolutionary War re-enactors.  Many consider the visit here as something of a pilgrimage to the Turning Point of the Revolutionary War, and who could disagree? Occasionally, a re-enactor might grumble that the National Park Service does not permit battle re-enactments on […]

Hard Times

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger It is almost a commonplace observation that Americans do not know their Revolutionary War history.  This is vigorously noted through many media outlets by pundits of varying political leanings (and often muttered by park rangers between clenched teeth).  The pundits in their pronouncements seem to have a fixation upon the […]

Éirinn go Brách!

By Joe Craig If an historian (no matter how serious an historian) tells you that he is immune to the siren call of “What If?” aspect of history, don’t you believe him.  “What if?” is something that seems ingrained into the human mind, whether it’s about missed opportunities, relationships gone sour, or why didn’t he […]

Pox Upon It

In 1980, the World Health organization declared the eradication of one of the most deadly viruses that humans have faced: smallpox.  To say that this was welcome news is an understatement as smallpox left a swathe of death and misery over many centuries throughout the entire globe. Most Americans today have only a vague notion […]

Fear and Loathing

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger Check any news outlet, and you’ll be assaulted by the ongoing tragedies of the Middle East.  Cruel civil wars, sectarian genocide, and ethnic cleansing have forced millions to flee.  Many have sought refuge in Europe, and some seek entrance to the United States.  The admission of even a small number […]

Sweet Jane

By Joe Craig “The better the novel the more dangerous it is, because readers are more likely to think it’s true.” Antony Beevor Richard Ketchum’s Saratoga, Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War has been a continual best-selling item at Saratoga NHP.  Not only is the story compelling about world-changing history but the often repeated verdict […]