On Wall Street, Don Regan was called disruptive, cold, irreverent--and he led Merrill Lynch to the top. At the Treasury Department, he was said to be insensitive, arrogant, unsophisticated--and he helped launch the nation on one of the longest peacetime booms in history. As chief of staff of the White House, Regan has been accused of being unfeeling, narrow-minded, egotistical --and the President he serves now stands at an all-time high in prestige and acclaim. ''When you are on the inside, quite obviously you always think you are doing a better job, perhaps, than some of the outsiders may consider,'' says...

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