cover image The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters

The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters

Wes Moore. Spiegel & Grau, $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9357-8

Moore's memoir, a meditation on what makes various types of work worth doing, is an intriguing follow-up to his bestselling The Other Wes Moore, which explored success and failure for black youth in American society. After embracing the messages of service, self-confidence, and risk-taking found in Gen. Colin Powell's inspirational autobiography, Moore earns a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University, does a stint as a trader at Deutsche Bank, and eventually goes off to military duty in one of the most dangerous areas in Afghanistan. While a Citibank employee, Moore saw the financial collapse up close, and he mourns the loss of jobs and fortunes during the crisis. Moore takes advantage of every opportunity to try something new, but he sometimes skimps on his descriptions of his experiences, giving the broad headlines rather than revealing details. However, he does engage in sincere soul-searching and analysis that make the less satisfying sections of the book worth slogging through.Moore makes a convincing case that work has the most value if it's built on a foundation of service, selflessness, courage, and risk-taking.(Jan.)