Tolerant Allies draws extensively on recently declassified Canadian and American sources to explore the most important political, economic, and military elements in the bilateral relationship during the 1960s. Greg Donaghy challenges the prevailing view that relations during this turbulent decade were primarily marked by mutual hostility, the product of growing Canadian nationalism and differences over the war in Vietnam. Instead Donaghy argues that through the Autopact and the GATT, Canada and the United States crafted a new economic partnership that tied the two countries together more tightly than ever before. Donaghy argues that economic integration was offset to some extent by diverging views on Western political and military strategy. As Pearson's government pursued distinct foreign and defence policies, American policy-makers acknowledged that Canadian objectives legitimately differed from their own and adjusted their policies accordingly. For its part, Ottawa rarely moved without weighing the impact its initiatives might have on Washington.
As a result, Canada and the United States found ways to accommodate each other's interests without seriously impairing bilateral cooperation.