The subtitle is certainly telling. Matthews, Tip ONeills former chief of staff for six years and now seen on the NBC-syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, portrays a civilized friendship between ONeill and President Reagan even though their politics could not have been more different.

From the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Jack Kennedy"--and Tip ONeills former chief-of-staff--comes the firsthand, one-of-a-kind story of the friendship between President Reagan and the Speaker of the House.

They were the political odd couple--the two most powerful men in the country, a pair who, in author Chris Matthewss words, "couldnt be more different or more the same." For six years Matthews was on the inside, watching the evolving relationship between President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip ONeill. Their philosophies were miles apart--Reagan intent on scaling back government, ONeill fervent in defending it. Yet there was common ground too: long lunches shared on St. Patricks Day and a mutual respect--political and personal. Three days after Reagans shooting, Tip was the first outsider at the presidents bedside.

Drawing not only on his own remarkable knowledge but on extensive interviews with those closest to his subjects, Matthews brings this unlikely friendship to life in his unique voice, rendering as lively and novelistic a read as "Jack Kennedy "and a timely object lesson in how bipartisan cooperation can work.