Richard Yates has been referred to as American's least known great writer. Today Yates is known primarily for the novel Revolutionary Road, considered by many critics as the greatest American novel of the second half of the twentieth century. This critical study examines the life and work of Yates by placing his body of work in both cultural and personal context. Topics covered include the writing of his major novels, homosexuality, his role as a critic, and his relationship with Hollywood. This text divulges new details about his life and offers a thorough analysis of unpublished materials from the Richard Yates archives at Boston University.