Like estranged best friends, two democracies go from sharing their dreams to forgetting what they had in common--and wondering if they can still trust one another. In the early 1990s, North America was the vibrant centre of an increasingly democratic and revitalized western hemisphere. The United States and Canada were close allies working together to implement a bilateral free trade agreement and build an integrated manufacturing and export economy. By the late 2000s, the economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries were strained as policies stagnated or slipped backward and passports were needed to cross the border for the first time in history.Assessing the major forces and events in North America's development between 1990 and 2010, this book also details changes at the US embassy in Ottawa during those years and its relationship with US consulates in Canada and with the State Department's Canada desk. Arguing that Canada's influence among the world powers radically diminished as a result of historical events, Stewart gives valuable advice on how Canada should handle US relations and anticipates what lies ahead.