Q&A with the other Wes Moore: Why him and not me?

Oregon Live

One Wes Moore is a writer and investment banker who lives in New York City and can joke about a recent snowstorm that turned the streets of Manhattan into ski runs. Another Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for murder and will never leave a maximum-security prison in Maryland.

Both men were raised by single mothers in the same part of Baltimore and had early discipline problems. The fact that one of them became a Rhodes scholar and a White House fellow who addressed the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the other participated in a robbery that resulted in the death of a police officer and father of five is more than an irony or a coincidence to the Moore who's not in prison. It obsessed him and raised questions he couldn't answer: What leads people in one direction or another? Could our paths have been reversed? Why him and not me?

Moore the writer befriended Moore the prisoner and explored their lives in "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates," a book that has started countless discussions about race and class and fate since it was published last year. It's just out in paperback and is the 2011 selection of Everybody Reads, a community-wide reading program sponsored by the Multnomah County Library. Discussion groups will be held throughout February, and Moore will be in Portland on March 7 for an event at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. He answered a few questions about his book, his life and the other Wes Moore. 

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/books/index.ssf/2011/01/qa_with_the_other_wes_moore_wh.html