Thursday, June 19, 2014

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

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two FatesThe Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I like the idea of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, better than the actual story itself. It may be because one of the Wes Moore's (The one who wrote the book), doesn't have that interesting a story to tell. Now, I know, I know, this isn't the kind of memoir where you're really supposed to be interested or engaged all the time. This isn't Ozzy Osbourne's autobiography. It's not meant to shock or surprise you. It's meant to prove a point about a societal issue, and it does a pretty good job of that. The point has been made.

The story itself concerns two Wes Moore's, both of them born around the same Baltimore area, and both of them having wildly different futures--one of them ends up in jail for life, and the other ends up writing a book and hobnobbing with important people in the White House. The question here is, why? Well, Wes Moore doesn't exactly spell it out for you, but he shows that through certain key decisions in both their lives, they ultimately determined their own fate, with the tragedy (as he puts it), being that either one of them could have had their fate reversed. I'm not entirely sure I agree with that notion given what's presented here, but I do think he plays his cards right by not telling you why he thinks the different outcome occurs, which was a good move.

But again, the book is mostly interesting when we read about "The other Wes Moore", the one who didn't write the book. His story, while sad, is engaging. This is a good read if you're looking to better understand urban environments and what it does to the youth. I recommend it.

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