This is the first in-depth study of the complete work of Heinrich Bll, one of the best known writers of postwar Germany. Bll became passionately invloved in the political upheavals and debates of his time, and all the major issues are reflected in his writings. His works were invariably provocative and were critically received in both academic and non-academic circles. Abroad he had the solid reputation of the "good German" who unambiguously condemned fascism and the less appealing features of the land of the Economic Miracle. In 1972 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first German to be so honoured since Thomas Mann in 1929, and his books sell by the millions. This study not only places Bll's writings in the context of contemporary political, social and literary developments but, at the same time, can be read as a lively history of the federal Republic.