Your audiobook is waiting…

The Other Wes Moore

One Name, Two Fates
Narrated by: Wes Moore
Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,640 ratings)
Regular price: $23.93
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Editorial Reviews

In The Other Wes Moore, author Wes Moore narrates his memoir of two little boys who become very different men. Both African American, fatherless, exposed to crime at an early age, Wes Moore, the author, and Wes Moore, the other, share both a name and a history, but live very different lives today. This book is an examination of why, as well as a call to action.

Moore narrates his book — and his voice is solid and rich — tones deepened by the streets, and consonants and vowels shaped and buffed by a good education. Proud, but never boastful, Moore tells his story of education, military service, and leadership. And, in a somber and respectful voice, he tells a parallel story: one of crime, broken families, and incarceration — the life of the other Wes Moore.

The memoir is part self-examination and part anthropological and sociological study of inner-city America. Throughout, Moore searches for the answer to the question: “What made the difference?” Why did he become a White House fellow and serve his country in Afghanistan while the other Wes Moore was charged with killing a police officer and now serves a life sentence?

The author offers no pat answers, no quaint life lessons — just hard truths. He is neither sympathetic nor judgmental — he makes no excuses for the tragic loss of Sergeant Bruce Prothero, the police officer the other Wes Moore was eventually convicted of killing. He also shows us the other side of his doppelganger — poignantly describing the other Moore’s careful work during shop class at trade school on a playhouse for his daughter.

Wes Moore speaks from the perspective of someone who has known fear and disillusionment, but also with a voice that has said, “Yes, sir,” and “Will you marry me?” and “Thank you.” This is the voice that calls the listener to want to make a difference in the lives of young people in this country. —Sarah Evans Hogeboom

Publisher's Summary

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 received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore.

Wes just couldn't shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?

That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that has lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they'd hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives, they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.

Told in alternating dramatic 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.

©2010 Wes Moore (P)2010 Random House

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,073
  • 4 Stars
    385
  • 3 Stars
    124
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    18

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    940
  • 4 Stars
    301
  • 3 Stars
    93
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    17

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    954
  • 4 Stars
    292
  • 3 Stars
    107
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    14
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aneesah
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 02-04-13

Insightful lesson in self-determination

If you ever thought your life was written out in the stars, or that you were dealt a bad hand at birth due various reasons, reading this book should change your mind. You can be anything or anyone you want to be, with people around you who believe in you. That might be the most important part, that not only is your fate not written in stone at birth, but you have to listen to the role models around you in order to succeed. You might have to leave your present neighborhood because too many people do not have an interest in seeing you succeed. As a matter of fact, to the contrary, they might want to see you fail because "misery loves company." The same idea of writing your own ticket with your own self-adopted mentors is also described in the autobiography, I Beat the Odds by Michael Oher. It is a fabulous book written by an amazingly reflective young man. These two books should be required high school reading (especially in inner city or rural schools) along with the 7 Habits of Highly Successful Teens, and The Four Agreements.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pam BJ
  • District of Columbia
  • 10-02-18

Two lives!

I became interested in this book last year. My son in law's brother had to read it for school. They live in California. He summarized the book in a way that peaked my interest! I just finished this audio book for the second time. I glean more insight with every session. Thank you Wes Moore and Wes Moore. Your candor and beautiful story telling made me feel close to both of you. I appreciate both of you sharing yourselves with the world! I love in Southern Maryland, but I am very familiar with Baltimore and it's regional issues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't stop listening.

I found myself being late for appointments because I would sit in my car in the parking lot waiting to hear what happens next. Not only is this a good story (actually two stories), but also a wonderful example of weaving two intertwining timelines together to create a synergistic narrative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compare and Contrast with Te-Nehisi Coates

All three men’s narratives — Wes Moore’s and Coates Between the World and Me — give a perspective of the African American /minority’s tensions, energy, grit, and depth of being. Highly recommended for all interested in bridges rather than walls.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

easy but strong read

If you want to "compare" two lives this is a book to read but this book will show the difference of two lives and how things can change.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

This book was great if people like to read about true stories they should totally read this book they will love it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very insightful

I bought this a couple months ago, but took awhile to listen to it, I wish I hadn’t waited. I listen to my books at work and finished this in one night and I’m sure I will be giving it another go shortly. This, along with Hillbilly Elegy, should be required reading for all students. It’s a powerful reminder that your current circumstances don’t have to define you and that you can overcome them if you embrace the opportunities you are given.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robyn
  • Glen Allen, VA USA
  • 01-21-19

All I can say is wow!

I just finished listening to the Audible version of 'The Other Wes Moore...'. The story was riveting, sad, encouraging, enraging, and a whole host of other emotions. Nothing I've read more aptly crystalizes the differences privilege, opportunity, choices, environment, and that internal thing that one can't describe make in one's life. This book goes way deeper than the cliché "there, but by the grace of God, go I." This book makes me want to continue to try to help those who make it difficult to want to help them. This book makes me thankful for those in my life who are on "the right path" despite so many opportunities they had to choose the "other" path. This book makes me thankful for Grace.

The only issue I had (could have just been me) was that the Audible version made it a little hard to follow who was being described in each chapter: 'Wes' or 'the other Wes.' Then again, maybe that was intentional; I don't know. I will probably get the Kindle edition so I can re-read with that obstacle in mind.

Great read - pass it on to every young black man (and woman) you know.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Parallels don't always have the same outcomes

This book really highlighted how people who come form the same place have similar experiences with different outcomes. Anyone who has questioned how a person "made it out" of the hood or got "caught up" should definitely read this book. If the politics of the ghetto and the determination or shortcomings of parents are interesting to you then you will enjoy this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book! Makes you think about the realities

Makes you think about the realities of others and how we need to be open to offering a little help. Every opportunity available should be given to help someone even if they say they don't want it.