Idea/Concept: In this witty and engaging memoir, Erxleben treats readers to a blow-by-blow account of a civil servant’s fight for the little guy during the turbulent 1970s. This book takes the obvious route of starting at birth and simply recounting interesting and relevant events until the end of Erxleben’s FTC career.
Prose: The prose is clear and concise. While Erxleben is prone to the occasional tangent, they never outstay their welcome and often prove to enrich the narrative. He also manages to ensure the reader understands both historical and legal matters in a manner that is illuminating rather than condescending.
Originality: This work is an often fascinating addition to the memoir genre, and, while standard in its execution, is unique in its blending of history and law into a personal narrative.
Execution: Erxleben’s more serious footnotes and asides help ameliorate what might have otherwise come across as a smug tone. The humor and humility of the early chapters are unfortunately not continued throughout, and their appearance in later chapters is rare but welcome. The final chapter attempting to comment on current affairs seems to be a last-minute addition that doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the text.
Date Submitted: November 08, 2019