The Almost Impossible Ally: Harold Macmillan and Charles De Gaulle

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9781850438007: The Almost Impossible Ally: Harold Macmillan and Charles De Gaulle
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On 14 January 1963, General de Gaulle (described by the Foreign Office as an 'almost impossible ally') brutally 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. As Resident Minister, Allied Forces Headquarters in Algiers in 1943, Macmillan had done much to help de Gaulle, and protect him from Churchill's and Roosevelt's hostility. They next met in 1958, as leaders of their two countries, when Britain and France faced many similar problems ranging from decolonization and their determination to retain national Great Power status to relations with the impetuous Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev. But while both seemed anxious to retain their old wartime connection, they were now rivals with very different views of the world. Divided by the Atlantic as much as the Channel, the two leaders disagreed fundamentally over America. De Gaulle sought the leadership of a Europe independent of the United States; the pro-American Macmillan talked of Britain as a 'bridge' between the two sides of the Atlantic. When Macmillan finally sought EEC membership, de Gaulle played on the old alliance to keep the British Prime Minister off guard. Ultimately, Macmillan was outwitted, out-manoeuvred and even, perhaps, outclassed by the General. "The Almost Impossible Ally" is a fascinating story of a friendship turned sour, and of a compelling new episode in the turbulent relations between Britain and France.

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Review:

""Macmillan and de Gaulle is ...superb..It is witty and well written, thoroughly researched without being too academic, and it brings out the comical as well as the dramatic relationship between the two statesmen."" --Wm. Roger Louis, Professor of British History, University of Texas at Austin ""this study is as much an examination of Anglo-French relations as it is one of these two men"" --Contemporary Review

About the Author:

Peter Mangold is Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford. He is a former member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Research Department and the BBC World Service.

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Peter Mangold
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom (2006)
ISBN 10: 1850438005 ISBN 13: 9781850438007
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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Annotated edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. On 14 January 1963, General de Gaulle (described by the Foreign Office as an 'almost impossible ally') brutally 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. As Resident Minister, Allied Forces Headquarters in Algiers in 1943, Macmillan had done much to help de Gaulle, and protect him from Churchill's and Roosevelt's hostility. They next met in 1958, as leaders of their two countries, when Britain and France faced many similar problems ranging from decolonization and their determination to retain national Great Power status to relations with the impetuous Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev.But while both seemed anxious to retain their old wartime connection, they were now rivals with very different views of the world. Divided by the Atlantic as much as the Channel, the two leaders disagreed fundamentally over America. De Gaulle sought the leadership of a Europe independent of the United States; the pro-American Macmillan talked of Britain as a 'bridge' between the two sides of the Atlantic. When Macmillan finally sought EEC membership, de Gaulle played on the old alliance to keep the British Prime Minister off guard. Ultimately, Macmillan was outwitted, out-manoeuvred and even, perhaps, outclassed by the General. "The Almost Impossible Ally" is a fascinating story of a friendship turned sour, and of a compelling new episode in the turbulent relations between Britain and France. Seller Inventory # ABE9781850438007

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Annotated edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. On 14 January 1963, General de Gaulle (described by the Foreign Office as an 'almost impossible ally') brutally 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. As Resident Minister, Allied Forces Headquarters in Algiers in 1943, Macmillan had done much to help de Gaulle, and protect him from Churchill's and Roosevelt's hostility. They next met in 1958, as leaders of their two countries, when Britain and France faced many similar problems ranging from decolonization and their determination to retain national Great Power status to relations with the impetuous Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev.But while both seemed anxious to retain their old wartime connection, they were now rivals with very different views of the world. Divided by the Atlantic as much as the Channel, the two leaders disagreed fundamentally over America. De Gaulle sought the leadership of a Europe independent of the United States; the pro-American Macmillan talked of Britain as a 'bridge' between the two sides of the Atlantic. When Macmillan finally sought EEC membership, de Gaulle played on the old alliance to keep the British Prime Minister off guard. Ultimately, Macmillan was outwitted, out-manoeuvred and even, perhaps, outclassed by the General. "The Almost Impossible Ally" is a fascinating story of a friendship turned sour, and of a compelling new episode in the turbulent relations between Britain and France. Seller Inventory # ABE9781850438007

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Book Description Condition: New. Macmillan and de Gaulle first became acquainted in the course of World War II; as Resident Minister, Allied Forces Headquarters in Algiers in 1943, Macmillan had done much to help de Gaulle and protect him from Churchill's and Roosevelt's hostility. After the war, however, Britain and France were confronted with similar and daunting problems. Divided by the Atlantic as much as the Channel, the two leaders disagreed fundamentally over America. De Gaulle sought the leadership of a Europe independent of the United States; the pro-American Macmillan talked of Britain as a 'bridge' between the two sides of the Atlantic. The wartime connection was strained as rivalry developed, and in January 1963 de Gaulle (described by the Foreign Office as an 'almost impossible ally') brutally vetoed Britain's bid to join the Common Market. Mangold here writes in arresting detail about the personal duel that shaped high politics and Anglo-French diplomacy, and of a friendship turned sour. Seller Inventory # 1807

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