ASU Common Reading Experience

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

Moore, Wes. Spiegel & Grau (2011), ISBN: 978-0385528207

Summary from

"Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating 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."

The committee chose this particular text for a number of reasons:

First of all, we were intrigued by the premise of Moore’s narrative and
compelled by his investigation of how the decisions of our youth shape and
influence the remainder of our lives.  Our hope is that our in-coming
class, many of whom will no doubt be grappling with some life-decisions of
their own, will relate to some of the larger questions posited by the

Moreover, Moore’s memoir engages in subject areas from all around campus.
While departments such as Business and Teacher Education are sure to take
an interest in both Wes Moores’ economic scenarios and educational
circumstances (respectively), departments such as Sociology, History, and
Philosophy might take a look at the role of the judicial system in each of
the men’s lives.  The book also engages such departments as English,
Psychology, Religion, Communication and many others.


We are requesting proposals for sessions related to the common reading experience book. Proposals must be received by May 1st to be considered for the Fall semester. Please send them to Carol Smith:

Proposals should include elements that reflect themes, issues, places, cultures, etc. from the book.

In the past, faculty and staff at Adams State have successfully hosted many Common Reading Experience events. Some of the previously successful programming includes the Faculty Lecture Series, Interactive Demonstrations, Lunchtime Talks in Science and Mathematics, Off-Campus Trips, Panel Presentations, Special Topics Courses, Tours, and Volunteer or Service Learning Projects.

All programs should be 30 minutes in length, minimum.