The Other Wes Moore

The Other Wes Moore

One Name, Two Fates

Book - 2010
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Two kids with the same name were born blocks apart in the same decaying city within a few years of each other. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, army officer, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385528191
Characteristics: xiv, 233 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm


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Apr 15, 2017

This book was a fascinating study of the side-by-side lives of two men with the same names but very different futures. Their lives begin in the same neighborhoods yet one ends up in prison and the other in prison for life.

The incarcerated Wes More speaks of the necessity of recognizing the difference between a second chance and a last chance. This distinction is pivotal to the story. Both young men face those second chances and by the grace of God the author uses his second chances to progress in life. The book truly does show the truths in the "There but for the grace of God go I" sentiment.

I would also point to the strong religious convictions shown by the author's grandparents. In my experience, the reformed faith is effective in grounding God's children in the truths and blessings of His sovereignty. Soli deo gloria!

Jun 08, 2016

Great read! It gives insight onto how the choices a person can make effects the rest of their lives.

May 09, 2015

This book was nicely written and does a good job of showing how so many of us are a like but it's people that are in/not in our lives that makes us different.

Mar 20, 2015

The Other Wes Moore had caught my eye repeatedly for a number of years at my library before I finally picked it up to read myself. It is a personal tale of both inspiration and tragedy surrounding two men who share the same name and grow up in similar, challenging neighborhoods, but whose lives ultimately diverge, setting them on very different paths. Wes Moore (henceforth referred to as Wes 1) has just been announced as a Rhodes scholar, but when he views an article about himself in the local newspaper, he also notices a more tragic story in the very same issue: Another Wes Moore (Wes 2) has just been involved in the murder of a police officer. Wes 1, despite never having met Wes 2, begins to feel an inexplicable connection to the other Wes and proceeds to write to Wes 2 in prison. Wes 1's self-motivation, in spite of all of the obstacles, is especially uplifting to this reader, a self-confessed perennial underachiever. I admired the courage and openness of Wes2 and his family, granting interviews and sharing photos with Wes1, a virtual stranger whose sole connection to them is a shared first and last name, despite their obvious heartbreak surrounding the story. Wes 2's story is tragic, but I think the author, painting a picture of just how hopeless growing up in poverty-stricken areas can be, succeeds in evoking in the reader something perhaps just shy of sympathy, but far more charitable than downright condemnation.

Jul 18, 2012

A fascinating tale about two young men and of how their futures diverged. The author suggests how and why that might be, although even to him it is a puzzle. A good book for young men to read so that they might have insight into how a small choice can determine their future.

Feb 08, 2012

Even though it is classified as an adult book, this title is great for teens to read. It is a true story of how the choices we make in our life affects how it will turn out.

crankylibrarian Oct 15, 2011

A sobering look at the interplay of family, race, and poverty in the lives of two young black men. Wes Moore the author is a successful businessman, former army officer and a Rhodes Scholar; his doppleganger, a man about the same age with the same name is serving a life sentence for murdering a police officer. How could two boys, both raised in urban poverty by single mothers turn out so differently? The two Wes Moores spent hours interviewing each other over several years, and while the author provides no easy answers, certain key differences become apparent. Wes Moore the author had a dead father, but a mother who came from a stable high achieving family that appreciated the value of education and discipline. Wes Moore the criminal had an equally dedicated mother, but he and his brother had different fathers, few examples of stable families, and both fathered illegitimate children when still teens.

Dec 02, 2010

The lives of 2 men growing up in single parent homes in a violent Baltimore neighborhood and how their lives take different turns.
The author examines eight years in the lives of both Wes Moores to explore the factors and choices that led one to a Rhodes scholarship, military service, and a White House fellowship, and the other to drug dealing, prison, and eventual conversion to the Muslim faith, with both sharing a gritty sense of realism about their pasts.


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