The book opens with the story of two young men named Wes Moore, both of whom grew up fatherless in similar, poor neighborhoods in Baltimore. Both had difficult childhoods and experienced trouble with the law. However, one Wes Moore became a Rhodes Scholar, a decorated veteran, and a successful businessman, while the other is serving a life sentence in prison for his involvement in a robbery that resulted in the death of a police officer.
The book then details the respective childhoods and upbringing of the two Wes Moores. Both grew up in poverty, but the author Wes Moore had a mother who was always present and supportive, while the other Wes Moore’s mother was absent and abusive. The author Wes Moore also had positive male role models in his life, while the other Wes Moore did not. The book argues that the presence or absence of these positive influences made all the difference in the two men’s lives.
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