Virtual Event: Kenneth R. Rosen


The Failed Promise of America's Behavioral Treatment Programs

in conversation with SYLVIA A. HARVEY


January 25, 2021
7:00 PM ET


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Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes Newsweek senior editor and correspondent KENNETH R. ROSEN for a discussion of his latest book, Troubled: The Failed Promise of America's Behavioral Treatment Programs. He will be joined in conversation by award-winning journalist SYLVIA A. HARVEY, author of The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family.

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About Troubled

In the middle of the night, they are vanished.

Each year thousands of young adults deemed out of control—suffering from depression, addiction, anxiety, and rage—are carted off against their will to remote wilderness programs and treatment facilities across the country. Desperate parents of these “troubled teens” fear it’s their only option. The private, largely unregulated behavioral boot camps break their children down, a damnation the children suffer forever.

Acclaimed journalist Kenneth R. Rosen knows firsthand the brutal emotional, physical, and sexual abuse carried out at these programs. He lived it. In Troubled, Rosen unspools the stories of four graduates on their own scarred journeys through the programs into adulthood. Based on three years of reporting and more than one hundred interviews with other clients, their parents, psychologists, and health-care professionals, Troubled combines harrowing storytelling with investigative journalism to expose the disturbing truth about the massively profitable, sometimes fatal, grossly unchecked redirection industry.

Not without hope, Troubled ultimately delivers an emotional, crucial tapestry of coming of age, neglect, exploitation, trauma, and fraught redemption.

Praise for Troubled

Troubled is a searing chronicle of the unfortunate era of ‘tough love’ programs for wayward American youth, told with detail and compassion, as well as an eloquent kind of well-merited rage.” —Luke Mogelson, contributing writer at the New Yorker

Troubled by Kenneth R. Rosen is the first book written by a survivor to investigate the longer-term outcomes of adolescents who were subjected to this ‘treatment’ . . . If you are a parent considering seeking help for your teenager or a program survivor, I urge you to read this book and heed its lessons.” —Maia Szalavitz, author of Help at Any Cost

“A vivid and eye-opening plea for reform. Rosen writes as a journalist, but also from personal experience, about getting ‘kidnapped’ to live in the strange world of teenage behavioral boot camps—which is an industry in America with its own unsavory logic.” —Michael Scott Moore, author of The Desert and the Sea

Kenneth R. Rosen
Kenneth R. Rosen

Kenneth R. Rosen

Kenneth R. Rosen is a senior editor and correspondent at Newsweek based in Italy. He is a contributing writer to WIRED and the author of Bulletproof Vest.

Sylvia A. Harvey
Sylvia A. Harvey

Sylvia A. Harvey

Sylvia A. Harvey is an award-winning journalist reporting on race, class, policy, and incarceration. She is the author of The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family,  a searing exposé of the effects of the mass incarceration crisis on families – including the 2.7 million American children who have a parent locked up. Harvey's work has appeared in The Nation, Elle, Politico, Vox, The Marshall Project, Colorlines, and more. She is the recipient of a National Headliner Award and a National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Salute to Excellence award. The Oakland native holds a BA in sociology and an MS in journalism from Columbia University. You can connect with her on social media as Ms_SAH.


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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