The Other Wes Moore

One Name, Two Fates
Narrated by: Wes Moore
Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (2,279 ratings)

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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 listeners say about The Other Wes Moore

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Very inspiring

I could not stop listening to see the different perspectives and how it is still a struggle for under served.

1 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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It sucks you in

I loved this book and how it proves your disadvantages are your advantages . Spoken in a way that all can understand. Great read

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Narrator tells his story with heart

It's uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. The story is a reminder we can all be the change in someone else's life.

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I can see the safety of why schools use it...

Not what I anticipated but a good read nonetheless. It’s a safe read about a number of challenging issues.

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Amazing

Amazing story and amazing story telling. Highly recommend you listen. This book had me interested from start to finish.

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loved this book

loved the book, can related to both stories. will pass on to others. Will definitely