January 25, 2021

Kenneth R. Rosen

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.


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.

About Author(s)

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 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 NationEllePoliticoVoxThe Marshall ProjectColorlines, 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.