Along with an intelligent and informative discussion of the issues between the two nations, this book is filled with wonderful anecdotes of the gaffes, slights and gossipy behind-the-scenes tales which occurred over the years between Canadian and American leaders. Beginning with Ulysses Grant's failure to send anyone of note to meet Prime Minister John A. Macdonald on the first visit to Washington by a Canadian PM, Martin gives impressive fly-on-the-wall details of some of the more private discussions between PMs and Presidents. For example, early on in the book, he tells the story of how Lyndon Johnson became enraged at Prime Minister Lester Pearson over a speech the latter had given in Philadelphia criticizing Johnson's bombing campaign in Vietnam and how LBJ physically manhandled his smaller counterpart.
This book is a delight for anyone with an interest in Canada-US relations. It offers insight into the diplomatic workings between the two nations, and puts each issue into historical perspective. It also tells which leaders got along well, and which had contempt for one another. It is a rare combination of interesting history and fun reading.