Example Of The Other Wes Moore Book Review
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Wes Moore through his book ‘The Other Wes Moore’ follows the lives of two different African American young men who despite the similarity in their early childhood years end up leading different lives. The book follows the lives of the two major characters and the conditions that led to the ultimate difference in their lives.
The book starts in the year 2000 where a local newspaper run an article about Wes Moore. There were two people involved, in this case, where the first Wes Moore was a graduate who had been awarded an academic award commonly referred to as the Rhodes Scholar. The other Wes Moore in the newspaper was involved in various robberies and other criminal activity and was handed a life sentence due to these issues with the law.
After being given the overview of the situation, the author goes back into history to show the background of the two Wes Moore’s. He shows the similarities there were in the upbringing of the two boys since both grew in similar neighborhoods. The problems they had included drugs and confrontation with law enforcement, but they ended up having different ends to their lives.
The book highlights the different choices the two characters chose with the successful Wes deciding to attend a military academy while the other decided to enter into drug use and peddling (Kristoff n.p). This is where their roads parted where one ends up being successful while the other is completely involved in selling drugs. The author ends up in South Africa, where he witnesses traditions of the people in the community of turning boys into men. He relates theses to the issues that he has passed through.
Range Covered by the Book
The book is broad and covers a number of issues and themes. Some of the major issues looked into include issues of Economic Injustice and Poverty. Here, the author points at situations where individuals are unable to change their lives due to their economic conditions. The apartheid in South Africa, for instance, placed the blacks at a disadvantage in competing for resources and opportunities in the society. In Baltimore, individuals are shown to be unable to attend school due to their poverty levels. Another issue looked into is the impact of family to the upbringing of young people. The successful Wes attributes his success to the family and especially his mother who made many sacrifices to send him to school. The unsuccessful Wes had a milder family influence in his life thus the ultimate outcome of his life. The issue of the use of drugs and the resulting effects is also looked at in the book. The neighborhood that the two characters lived was often characterized by habitual drug users. The unsuccessful Wes in particular had many of his relatives involved in drug use.
Opinion on the Book
The other Wes is a well-written work that drives the reader into relating with the individual life conditions that have impacted them over time. Just like the author Wes Moore notes, one can’t help but wonder what would have happened if his story would have taken a different turn. The book makes a good point in showing how decisions made have an impact on individual lives outcomes. What essentially separated the two Moore’s is the decisions that each made thus underlying the importance of being sensible in decisions people make about their lives.
Being a person who normally enjoys fiction books, “The Other Wes Moore” was a book that really interested me. Its writing is captivating since the plot flows in a way that captures the attention of the reader. Its educational component is also very well brought out. The author is able to give individual advice to young people while at the same time highlighting to the parents and other guardians the important role they play in the life outcomes of their children. The author also does good work in advocating for different stakeholders to see the situation in these areas and actions that can be taken to rectify the situation that is getting worse.
Amusing Features of the Book
The most amusing aspect of this book is the way that the author writes about the two Wes Moore’s. Through his writing, it is easy for the reader to understand which Wes is being talked about. I found no difficulty in differentiating the Wes being talked about in any situation and in the different sections. For the Wes Moore, who is the author, he wrote in first person while the other Wes Moore who was unsuccessful was written in the third person. This makes the book very organized and enjoyable to read since it is easy to capture what is being talked about.
Application in Sociology
Moore, Wes. The other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. Random House LLC, 2011.
Crockett, Lisa J., and Ann C. Crouter, eds. Pathways through adolescence: Individual development in relation to social contexts. Psychology Press, 2014.
Kristof, Nicholas. “Two Men and Two Paths”. The New York Times. N.p., 12 June 2012. Web. 29 Mar. 2015.
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