When Wes Moore was reading the newspaper article about his being named a Rhodes Scholar, he caught a glimpse of an article about a young man being sought in connection with an armed robbery that resulted in the death of an off-duty police officer. The young man’s name was also Wes Moore. The Other Wes Moore tells the story of each man’s coming of age and leaves the reader to wonder, like the writer of the book did, how do two people, born in the same place, less than a year apart, end up in two completely different places, different worlds even.
The book delves into the coming of age of the two Weses, the choices they made and the consequences of those choices. Each section begins with a conversation between them in prison, where Wes Moore is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The conversations are good introductions to each part of the stories, and definitely thought provoking.
The book is an excellent piece of journalism. It tells a complete story of both men. One is a story of triumph and the other is a cautionary tale. The fact that they are so similar should make any reader think about the way some things are in our society, especially in the inner cities. The book does not glamorize the fact that Wes Moore is in prison for a violent crime that he most likely committed as it gives a clear indication that a family and community were victimized by his participation in the crime for which he is serving his sentence. I really respect that aspect of the book, because it also told the story of a young man who had many obstacles in his life at the same time.
I think everyone should read the book. It gives so much insight into policies that our elected officials often make without thinking of the consequences, but does not dismiss the importance of making good choices.