Moore further explores his life’s accomplishments and struggles and the everyday significance of “fate and meaning.”
Following a best-selling debut juxtaposing his mentored childhood against that of a ne’er-do-well namesake in Baltimore (The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, 2010), the author’s second book charts his personal history through active military duty and time on Wall Street. Though a less-charismatic offshoot of that former effort, Moore’s writing remains consistently articulate and escorts readers through a decade of pivotal years when he left his childhood home for academic study at Oxford University in England in 2001, through a data-analysis internship with the Department of Homeland Security and a promising career in investment banking, which he sacrificed for deployment as a soldier in the war in Afghanistan. Moore’s wartime experiences provide a compelling narrative of personal determination and dedication to lead others with strength, yet he also deftly examines his comprehension of the larger impact and ironies of global conflict and American foreign policy. The author continues to chronicle his personal history with an often frustrating stint as a White House Fellow (“[m]oving the deep bureaucracy of lifelong civil servants was more like steering a tanker than a speedboat”), work in finance, and finally as a husband, father, public speaker, entrepreneur and youth advocate. Though the memoir’s timeline meanders and Moore’s sense of focus occasionally drifts, the book is ultimately unified by generous profiles of upstanding “workers” whose consistent acts of youth mentorship, veteran rehabilitation, product development and selfless humanitarianism are remarkable yet often overlooked or underappreciated in contemporary society. The takeaway is crystal clear: Take pride in your endeavors, and make every attempt to discover the “meaning of success in a volatile, difficult, and seemingly anchorless world.”
An inspired story of a passionate American who has delved into a variety of livelihoods and made a distinctive mark on each.