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Political Memoirs — Peter Mandelson

Mandelson released “The Third Man” after Labour lost the 2010 general election. At the time of writi

Peter Mandelson's look back at his 25 years in the Labour Party was long in the writing; he started making notes for it back when he was a European commissioner. It has been well received and praised for its perceived frankness and honesty in its account of the past.

It is number one on our list because of its impeccable timing (before Tony's account of his own time in office and after Gordon's resignation). Coming just as Labour returned to opposition, it resonates with readers because so many can recall the public side of the private events discussed.

Yet despite the plaudits for the book's "humour" and "wry writing", Andrew Rawnsley delivers this verdict:

Does he make sense of it all? Not really. He doesn't even explain himself properly. Having spent more than 500 pages in his slippery company, the reader doesn't feel that he has met the real Peter Benjamin Mandelson. "The Prince of Darkness" remains a fugitive figure, trapped in his own shadows.

But if you have any interest in the internal politics of the New Labour movement it's a must-read.