Bureaucracy, set in the 1820s, is centered on the attempt of a French government career employee to greatly reduce expenses, cut superfluous employees and reduce corruption while greatly increasing revenue and helping citizens. Of course this is an outrageous idea to his fellow bureaucrats. Our central character gets this opportunity when the head of his bureau dies and he is placed in charge.
Of course when the other employees learn of his plans and especially when they seem to be working they are very upset. His long time arch-rival sets out to destroy his plan. There is lots of work place drama.
There are over fifty characters in the novel, the wife of the lead character is very eager for him to advance himself. Balzac does his usual great job of bringing even the minor characters to life.
Bureaucracy is a good novel, a worthy segment of The Comedie Humaine.
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