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The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
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The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  14,097 ratings  ·  2,178 reviews
Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, 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.

In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just r
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Hardcover, 233 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris
I heard about this when it came out a couple years ago and was intrigued, and then the College of Education I work and go to graduate school in chose it for its "common read," so I read it. It would absolutely be a good discussion starter in undergraduate classes. (Although unfortunately for my College of Education, the "successful Wes Moore" ultimately gets on the right path when his mom enrolls him in a private military school, so it doesn't provide any intel on how public schools can engage a ...more
Holly Williams
The premise that these two men shared similar upbringings is barely tenable. I don't doubt that Mr. Moore's intentions were sincere, but beyond their mutual name, these men had very different mothers, fathers, family support systems, educational opportunities and friends. The similarities, by contrast, were far less impactive: a shared name and age, and brief stints living in Baltimore city proper. Furthermore, the commonality that they were both young African American men is much more complicat ...more
Newengland
Two Wes Moores diverged in a yellow wood (called Baltimore)
And sorry he could not travel both
And be one traveler, long Wes Moore the Rhodes Scholar stood
And looked down one as far as he could
By interviewing the other Wes Moore in Jessup Correctional Institution
Where the path disappears in the undergrowth
Of drug-dealing, robbery, and accomplice to murder.

Wes took the other, as just as fair,
Through military school, time in Afghanistan, and ultimately the business world,
And having perhaps the bette
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Tracy
Disclaimer: I have met the author Wes Moore. He was a student worker in the Career Center when I worked at Johns Hopkins. I didn't know him well, but did interact with him. Even then, it was apparent that he was a pretty extraordinary person. I was excited to read this book because I felt like I "knew" the characters and setting a bit.

I think my knowledge of the author colored my ability to see this book as a comparison of two boys with the "there but for the grace of God..." ideal that the desc
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Felipe Cordoba
Initially I wasn’t too sure about reading this book because of what it seemed to be advertising. From the moment I picked it up at the library and read the summary, Wes Moore struck me as one of the folks who particularly enjoys telling others of his success and makes it a point to demonstrate how another man by the same name is a failure. Although I do respect him for his accomplishments and look up to how he escaped the Baltimore projects, it was hard to imagine an author being very philosophi ...more
Claire
This review is based on a set of advance proofs which I won in a Goodreads Giveaway.


The Other Wes Moore is a fascinating look at the lives of two men, both named Wes Moore, both from low-income families, both from un-privileged urban backgrounds. One man sits in prison for life, convicted of participation in a robbery and the murder of a police officer, while the other went on to enjoy every success that a young man can enjoy.

The author, the Wes Moore who went on to become a Rhodes Scholar and
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Jason
This thought provoking book, about two young men from similar backgrounds ultimately branching in two totally different directions, is a stark reminder that the shirking of personal accountability has historically been the downfall of many passionate men and women destined for greatness, yet shackled to self destruction. Moore writes with a delicate balance that makes the story human without distorting the facts with romanticism. By paralleling the lives of Moore, (the author), and Moore, (the p ...more
Cflack
I am reading this book during a very difficult time in the city where I live. This fall, and more specifically the last three weeks, there have been four shootings and three deaths of black males between the ages of 15 and 23. As someone who grew up in this community and has chosen to raise a family here, we as a community are grappling with these senseless deaths. I would not say that Wes Moore is a great writer, but he is an eloquent and impassioned writer on this subject which touches him ver ...more
Emily
I was very excited for this book, only to be let down. Hugely.

Wes Moore (the "successful" one) spends a lot of the book describing WHAT happens, without exploring WHY things might have transpired the way that they did. The fact is, the Wes Moore in prison never, ever could have had the same story as the "successful" Wes Moore, and it is very unlikely that the "successful" Wes Moore could have ended up in prison like the "unsuccessful" Wes Moore.
Why not? The author came from a family with two suc
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Tamara Sam
I literally finished this book cover-to-cover in less than 24hrs. My pending book club meeting this weekend played a role in my desire to finish quickly *smile*, but this was definitely a page turner. I’ve always been intrigued by the lives and struggles of people growing up in difficult neighborhoods, and under less than favorable circumstances. Maybe that is my sheltered naiveté shining through, who knows.

Throughout the book, my goal was to find the ‘turning point’ – the decision, scenario, o
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Walter
Maybe my expectations were too high for this book: I had seen its author on Tavis Smiley's television show and read a couple of (very) positive reviews of it, so I really expected to be blown away by The Other Wes Moore. In a word, I was not. It's an interesting story of two men who share a name and a background who choose very different paths. This is a good beginning; unfortunately, the execution thereafter leaves something to be desired.

The author, the "good" Wes Moore, begins life in a tough
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud!
Katrina
I was skeptical in even choosing this book to read. I didn't know what Moore's politics were going to be like. Was this going to be another "I-made-it-so-you-can-too" book? I mean, where can you go when you're comparing yourself to someone who "didn't make it"? Thankfully, I think it digs deeper than that, but not as deeply as I think it could have. Certainly Moore recognizes that many people were influential in his success--one glance at his acknowledgments shows that-- but what about the money ...more
Tony
I'm not one who usually reads "uplifting" true stories with words like "hope" prominently featured in the title or subtitle, but I gave this one a chance for three reasons. First of all, some of it takes place in neighboring Baltimore in the mid-'90s, which is interesting to anyone, like me, who loved the HBO series The Wire. Secondly, at lot of the kids who come into the library I work at are in the same position as the two young Wes Moores described in the book -- they might succumb to the cal ...more
Deka
May 10, 2013 Deka rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
the story of two wes moores that ended very differently though the author doesnt pinpoint an exact reason. i dont think he should. it's impossible to say definitively what would or would not have improved one's life. but, to me this book illustrates the importance of asking for help when you need it, the importance of education and a supportive family, the weight of accountability and responsibility, the variance of human nature, and how a seemingly small decision can change your life.
Ryan
Three stars are more for the idea than the execution. The writing was something of a distraction - and not in a good way. More like a police report than a story about the lives of two young men...I winced more than once at the choice of words. I think it helped to listen to the book because the narrator is the author, and his enthusiasm and determination are clear in his reading. Its worth a listen.

The idea was intriguing and it was an interesting "read" after reading Homicide and The Corner, an
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Nancy Kennedy
In 2000, a Baltimore newspaper ran a story with the headline, "Local Graduate Named Rhodes Scholar." It was a story about the author, Wes Moore, a young black man who rose from the drug, crime and poverty-stricken streets of the city to attain this prestigious academic honor.

Several months earlier, in the same paper, Mr. Moore had noticed a series of articles about two young black men who killed a Baltimore policeman while robbing a jewelry store. The name of one of the killers struck him: his n
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Ms. Parks
When I student taught last year at Pattonville, one of my students told me that he was reading The Other Wes Moore, and it was the best book he’d ever read. Now, usually I’m excited to hear any of my students say they loved reading a certain book, but this was an especially big deal. This was a student who was born a crack baby, didn’t get past page 2 of The Great Gatsby because it was “just that boring,” couldn’t sit still, and was hardcore failing my class. Yet he was genuinely enjoying a book ...more
Sera
Jan 19, 2011 Sera rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sera by: Shelia
How do two boys with the same name who live within the same community end up with lives on two completely different paths? After reading this book, my answer is "I'm not sure". The author, Moore, states that it's the result of multiple factors, including luck, and I don't disagree but if this analysis is at the center of this book's premise, then I'm afraid that Moore failed to meet his objective here (and adding a Call to Action by Tavis Smiley at the end of the book didn't solve this problem). ...more
Emily
A readable and concise book about two kids from Baltimore who are called Wes Moore--one, the author, is a Rhodes Scholar and decorated veteran, the other is a bank robber serving a life sentence for murder. The book's main weakness is that the lives of the two boys aren't really that similar. The author Moore had two college-educated parents (though his father dies young) and a helpful extended family. Seeing him on "The Daily Show" you also note that he is good-looking and gregarious, the kind ...more
Martha Schwalbe
I wish we had a way to make every parent and child read this book and read it at least once a year. The focus on education, being an active part in a child's life, and having high expectations really helped Wes Moore become a successful man. The other Wes Moore had none of that and is spending his life in prison, such a waste.
Maybe this should be a must read book in the class where Civics is taught. Do we even teach Civics anymore?
I think some people would say Wes Moore, the author of the book,
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Heather
This book is about two men with the same name, close to the same age, who grew up in the same neighborhood in Baltimore. One (the author) was a Rhodes scholar and is a successful Wall Street banker who spoke when President Obama accepted the Democratic nomination to run. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for murder. The book tells both of their stories and looks at the critical differences that made all the difference. I read it because the author was really interesting and articula ...more
Anna O'connell
I liked this book. It's interesting to try and discern which specific attributes of someone's upbringing end up setting them incredibly far apart from others with similar childhoods. Although I found the "successful" Wes Moore arrogant and irritating in his assumption that his success is entirely due to his hard work and intellect, I respected his story. While I agree that the two Wes Moore's did have very similar childhoods, I don't think the difference in their current lives are at all surpris ...more
Mallory G.
The Other Wes Moore was an amazing book that described in complete and explicit detail of the two men who ironically had the same name...but “Two Fates.”
As the story goes on there are several obstacles that the two men jump over,although one man “survives” and the other stumbles.The one man struggles to try and get out of the drug trade but finds himself a lifetime in jail for committing a, “First-degree felony murder, of Sergeant Bruce Prothero.” The other man, rarely went to school therefore
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Marie
After hearing the author being interviewed on NPR, I immediately put this book on hold at the library. This young man took an intriguing concept and turned it into a well-written, interesting book.

The author grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, with his mom and two sisters. His dad died when he was young, and his mom struggled to keep him on the straight and narrow given all the urban pressures of growing up black in the city. She scrimps and saves to get him into private school, but he chafes as he
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Shana
Although few actually like to hear it or admit it, much of what we become in life is a matter of circumstance and not necessarily of our own inherent merit. We do not choose to be born to our particular parents or in a certain country. Where we are educated and acquire our goals and values are initially determined by the adults and communities in which we are raised. This is not to say that we have no ability to break free from them, but our very first introduction to the world is significant an ...more
Luis Ramirez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ingrid
Wes Moore and Other Wes Moore grew up in the same rough Bronx neighborhood. Wes Moore started to go down the wrong path but his educated mother and tough-lovin' Jamaican grandparents sent him to military school, where he underwent a radical transformation and became the charismatic overachiever he is today. Other Wes Moore's downward spiral continued uninterrupted and he ended up impregnating two different women with four different babies before the age of 20, getting arrested several times on d ...more
Juliette Finley
Jewels Finley
English 8
1/4/15

· The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
· Wes Moore is a journalist from Baltimore, Maryland who is introduced as a troubled teenager, however, is able to change his future with only a small amount of struggle. The second Wes Moore is unable to keep his life from spinning out of control; therefore, he stays troubled and is considered dangerous towards others.
· The two men have surprisingly grown up in the same city and have dealt with similar circumstances throughout their
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Misti
Are we all really one decision away from making choices that will affect the rest of our lives? Do these decisions create a change of path that can seal our fates? Does life and death, freedom and bondage rest in these life decisions? Is there really that little that separates us from each other?

Or are we all just products of our environment? Or maybe products of our expectations?

Or is there more to our lives outcome than this simplicity of choice, environment, and expectations?

Consider account
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Wes Moore is a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, promising business leader and author.

Wes graduated Phi Theta Kappa as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. At Johns Hopkins he was honored by the Maryland College Football Hall of Fame. He completed an MLitt i
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More about Wes Moore...
Discovering Wes Moore (The Young Adult Adaptation) The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters

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“The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.” 55 likes
“When it is time for you to leave this school, leave your job, or even leave this earth, you make sure you have worked hard to make sure it mattered you were even here.” 27 likes
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