Onetime Interior Secretary Harold Ickes had the venom of a John Adams and the gossipy nature of a Gideon Welles, but, unlike those famed governmental diarists, he lacked the sense of standing witness to history in the making. Harold Ickes was primarily interested in great events in so far as they soothed or ruffled Harold Ickes. Nevertheless, The Lowering Clouds (Simon & Schuster; $6), third published volume of Ickes' sometimes fascinating diary, does make a contribution to historical accuracy: it should go far to correct the deep public impression that Harold Ickes was a lovable and forth right "old curmudgeon."...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!