Highly charged personal stories coalesce into a frank disclosure about the “forced redirection of wayward teenagers.”

TROUBLED

THE FAILED PROMISE OF AMERICA’S BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT PROGRAMS

A look inside the “brutal” conditions of behavioral boot camps for adolescents.

When parents decide to send their troubled teenagers to wilderness treatment programs, they do so because they feel that they are out of options. Their kids, often angry, bored, or both, may be skipping school, abusing alcohol and drugs, or self-harming, and some may be facing jail time for minor crimes. Believing that time spent in the wilderness is a useful strategy for turning their children toward a better path, parents sign them up, and they are whisked away, often in the middle of the night. They are stripped of anything personal and then spend weeks hiking, learning survival skills, and eating inadequate food, far from anyone who knows or loves them. As Wired contributing writer Rosen explains through the eyes of four victims, these wilderness camps are largely unregulated, leaving windows of opportunity open for verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, nearly all of which goes unreported. Even after successfully completing their tasks and going home, the kids are often worse off than before they left, as they now have the added stress of their time in treatment. Himself a victim of such treatment, the author shares his personal story as well as the history and development of these profitable groups. The stories are enlightening and engaging even as they reveal the shady, often abusive tactics used to snap these troubled children into behaving in a way that society deems acceptable. This book is a necessary exposé for any parent who has considered sending their child to one of these camps. Rosen also gives voice to the thousands who have gone through these programs, and the text should be helpful in encouraging them to speak out about their experiences.

Highly charged personal stories coalesce into a frank disclosure about the “forced redirection of wayward teenagers.”

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-0788-7

Page Count: 254

Publisher: Little A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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