Common Reading Experience
The Common Reading Experience (CRE) is proud to announce the CRE book for 2016-2017 is The Other Wes Moore (2011) by Wes Moore. The Other Wes Moore is the story of two African American men, with the same name, coming of age a few blocks from one another in inner city Baltimore, now living worlds apart as adults.
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 chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.”– Amazon.com book synopsis
The selection was made by a committee of students, faculty, and staff, and is timely for many reasons. In light of recent national events, and USF students’ responses to those events, we believe this book has tremendous potential to help members of our campus community navigate difficult, yet necessary conversations. In addition, The Other Wes Moore is directly related to several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are being used to identify the global nature of the various experiences USF offers students. Some of these global themes include the importance of inclusive and equitable quality education for all people; sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all; reducing inequality within and among countries; and making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The book specifically highlights the role of race/ethnicity, class, and immigration in U.S. culture, as well as the relationship between crime and poverty. We believe this book provides a positive way for students, faculty, and staff to explore these broader global issues together.
About the Program
The Common Reading Experience (CRE) encourages students to engage in curricular and co-curricular experiences designed to enhance their critical thinking and global competency while tackling important issues. We want to connect students’ own questions about the world as they see it with collaborative events and lively discussions connected by a common reading.
The university-wide common reading program seeks to unite students from across disciplines by inviting them to read and discuss a common book together. The CRE Curriculum includes book integrations in numerous courses, including Academic Foundations classes (SLS 2901) and First Year Composition classes (ENC 1102).
The Common Reading Experience will also be used as a basis for guided discussion, a source for examples related to projects and assignments, and a common resource for daily classroom activities. Through an exploration of the issues at stake in this narrative and the rhetorical choices made by the author, students will gain an understanding of the impact writing can have on individual lives and broader, global communities.