As you can guess, the book is a true story about two people each named Wes Moore.
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In this case, they both grew up in the same Baltimore neighborhood. Each are caught up in a maze of obstacles and challenges throughout their early lives.
Each make decisions that had lasting consequences on their lives. At one point in the book we are reminded that sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between a second chance and a last chance. This book is not preachy at all while telling its story until the end. It manages to shine a light on some of the systemic challenges that inner cities of most large cities in the United States face while also struggling with questions around choices and personal responsibility.
‘The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates’ by Wes Moore
On this front, I did think that the books social analysis was a bit light. 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.
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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. The other will spend every day until his death behind bars for an armed robbery that left a police officer and father of five dead.
The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his. Our stories are obviously specific to our two lives, but I hope they will illuminate the crucial inflection points in every life, the sudden moments of decision where our paths diverge and our fates are sealed….
It is my sincere hope that this book does not come across as self-congratulatory or self-exculpatory… Rather, this book will use our lives as a way of thinking about choices and accountability, not just for each of us as individuals, but for all of us as a society. This book is meant to show how, for those of us who live in the most precarious places in this country, our destinies can be determined by a single stumble down the wrong path, or a tentative step down the right one.
This is our story.