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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the governor-elect of Maryland, the “compassionate” (People), “startling” (Baltimore Sun), “moving” (Chicago Tribune) true story of two kids with the same name from the 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.
Selected by Stephen Curry as his “Underrated” Book Club Pick with Literati
The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.
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 have 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 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.
About the Author
Wes Moore is the governor of Maryland. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore; The Work, which was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Sunday; and Five Days, a finalist for the Porchlight Business Book Award. He’s also a former Rhodes Scholar, a combat veteran of Afghanistan, and a social entrepreneur who served as the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, one of the largest antipoverty organizations in the country. Wes Moore lives in his hometown of Annapolis with his wife and two children.
“Startling and revelatory . . . a rocketing real-life narrative.”—Baltimore Sun
“A moving book . . . a call to arms.”—Chicago Tribune
“This intriguing narrative is enlightening, encouraging, and empowering. Read these words, absorb their meanings, and create your own plan to act and leave a legacy.”—Tavis Smiley, from the Afterword
“[A] compassionate memoir—a story that explores how some survive and others sink in urban battlegrounds.”—People
“Moore vividly and powerfully describes not just the culture of the streets but how it feels to be a boy growing up in a world where violence makes you a man.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Inspiring . . . a story for our times.”—Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here