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Book Cover for: On My Honor: The Secret History of the Boy Scouts of America, Kim Christensen

On My Honor: The Secret History of the Boy Scouts of America

Kim Christensen

Pulitzer Prize winner Kim Christensen charts the dramatic rise and fall of an American institution.


Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has been the nation's premier youth organization, espousing self-reliance and honor. More than 100 million Americans have been Boy Scouts, from Bill Gates to Martin Luther King Jr. Today, however, Scouting faces an existential threat of its own making: more than 82,000 former Scouts have filed claims alleging they were sexually abused--seven times the number of similar allegations that rocked the Catholic Church two decades ago.

The Scouts' indefensible practices remained all but hidden until 2012, when Kim Christensen and his colleague published a series of explosive articles for the LA Times, blowing up a century of secrecy. Now, continuing his decades-long investigation, On My Honor untangles the full story of the Boy Scouts of America, tracking its creation, growth, influence, and the massive generational trauma it has caused. Using the iconic institution to tell a story of American values over the last century, the book grapples with America's changing understanding of what it means to "make men."

This riveting story of power and abuse, religion and politics, scandal and justice, is brought to life by groundbreaking research and an unforgettable cast of characters.


Book Details

  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publish Date: Feb 11st, 2025
  • Pages: 336
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.25in - 6.25in - 1.13in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9781538726730
  • Categories: Corruption & MisconductSexual Abuse & HarassmentSocial History

About the Author

Kim Christensen spent more than 40 years writing for newspapers, starting with the Dayton Daily News in his hometown in Ohio and capping his career as an investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes, at the Oregonian in 2001 and at the Orange County Register in 1996, for investigations of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and of fertility fraud at University of California, Irvine. He lives in Long Beach, California, with his wife Christina, a former newspaper and magazine editor.

Praise for this book

"Christensen's powerful and troubling On My Honor chronicles how the Boy Scouts of America for generations portrayed itself as a hallowed institution that transformed boys into men -- even as it secretly let child molesters operate unchecked within its ranks, damaging tens of thousands of children it claimed to be helping."

--Cameron McWhirter, co-author of American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15
"Kim Christensen helped bring accountability to the Boy Scouts of America for its decades-long cover-up of sexual predators within its ranks. In On My Honor, Christensen deploys the exceptional investigative and narrative skills that won him multiple Pulitzer Prizes, delivering an absorbing, dismaying and meticulously researched account of how what was once a revered American institution betrayed tens of thousands of boys in its care."
--Martin Baron, retired top editor at the Washington Post and the Boston Globe
"Christensen's masterful reporting leads to a disturbing but unavoidable conclusion -- the Boy Scouts of America must take its place in the Hall of Shame alongside tobacco companies, the Catholic Church, Purdue Pharma, and the NFL for burying a dangerous truth just to protect its brand. On My Honor is a devastating indictment."--Martin J. Smith, author of The Wild Duck Chase and Going to Trinidad
"On My Honor is a withering tour de force by one of America's best investigative reporters. Kim Christensen is in top form as a storyteller in full possession of the facts as he lays out the decades-long child sexual abuse scandal in the Boy Scouts of America. Christensen gives inspiring accounts of victims seeking elusive justice as well as infuriating revelations about the methodical coverup by top officials. On My Honor is unsparing in exposing how U.S bankruptcy courts served as a labyrinth shield that killed the hopes of victims to confront their abusers. A must read."
--Gerald Posner, author of God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican
"Kim Christensen has written the definitive account of the sex abuse scandal that triggered the downfall of the once-venerated Boy Scouts of America. Christensen's meticulous reporting uncovers the true scope of abuse and neglect by multiple bedrock American institutions that traumatized tens of thousands of boys across generations."--Roxanna Asgarian, author of We Were Once a Family, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award