The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.
Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.
BONUS: This edition contains a new afterword and a The Other Wes Moore discussion guide.
Praise for The Other Wes Moore
“Moving and inspiring, The Other Wes Moore is a story for our times.”—Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
“A tense, compelling story and an inspirational guide for all who care about helping young people.”—Juan Williams, author of Enough
“This should be required reading for anyone who is trying to understand what is happening to young men in our inner cities.”—Geoffrey Canada, author of Fist Stick Knife Gun
“The Other Wes Moore gets to the heart of the matter on faith, education, respect, the hard facts of incarceration, and the choices and challenges we all face. It’s educational and inspiring.”—Ben Carson, M.D., author of Gifted Hands
“Wes Moore is destined to become one of the most powerful and influential leaders of this century. You need only read this book to understand why.”—William S. Cohen, former U.S. senator and secretary of defense
“This intriguing narrative is enlightening, encouraging, and empowering. Read these words, absorb their meanings, and create your own plan to act and leave a legacy.”—Tavis Smiley, from the Afterword
Two hauntingly similar boys take starkly different paths in this searing tale of the ghetto. Moore, an investment banker, Rhodes scholar, and former aide to Condoleezza Rice, was intrigued when he learned that another Wes Moore, his age and from the same area of Greater Baltimore, was wanted for killing a cop. Meeting his double and delving into his life reveals deeper likenesses: raised in fatherless families and poor black neighborhoods, both felt the lure of the money and status to be gained from dealing drugs. That the author resisted the criminal underworld while the other Wes drifted into it is chalked up less to character than to the influence of relatives, mentors, and expectations that pushed against his own delinquent impulses, to the point of exiling him to military school. Moore writes with subtlety and insight about the plight of ghetto youth, viewing it from inside and out; he probes beneath the pathologies to reveal the pressures poverty, a lack of prospects, the need to respond to violence with greater violence that propelled the other Wes to his doom. The result is a moving exploration of roads not taken.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The other Wes Moore
Great book, makes you stop and think about how it how it does require a town to bring a child into this world.
This is a beautiful book. Well written, intriguing and inspiring. It is amazing what is possible for those who believe.
Full of Topics for Discussion
I read this book with my soon-to-be-fourteen son. I loved the fact that with each reading session, there were plenty of topics for us to talk about. The author does a great job of showing the importance of individual choices, but also makes the reader wrestle with the notions of support, opportunities, and resources.
The author also does not finish the book with some grand position of having all the answers. Instead, he makes us each think about the possible “answers” ourselves (and perhaps have us reflect about what we can do as individuals and communities).
The book was mature enough to hold my attention as an adult, yet fast-paced enough to keep my teenaged son engaged (not an easy task). I recommend this book for any and all parents of young children (regardless of gender or race) because it helps springboard conversations that parents and children should have.