On 14 January 1963, General de Gaulle forcefully vetoed Britain's first bid to join the Common Market. It was a blow that delayed Britain's entry for a decade and hastened the end of Harold Macmillan's political career. Peter Mangold writes in arresting detail about the fascinating personal duel that shaped high politics and Anglo-French diplomacy. He portrays two of the most complex and skilful leaders of the post-war era, old friends from their association in Algiers during World War II: de Gaulle the dour, lofty moralist obsessed with high notions of France; and Macmillan, the canny, ambitious fixer, always the pragmatist seeking to get things done. The Almost Impossible Ally is the dramatic story of a friendship turned sour, which captures another chapter in the turbulent relations between Britain and France.