The published recollections of significant political actors have received little serious attention within British academia. This article argues that although diaries and memoirs must always be treated with caution, they deserve greater recognition as sources for scholarship. Since the early 1990s, there has been a marked tendency for prominent figures to publish diaries rather than the more traditional memoirs. If anything, this is a more fruitful genre for those who are willing to compare the record provided by the various publications – and to read between the lines. A study of the literature produced by participants in the New Labour ‘project’ yields valuable insights concerning the respective roles of individuals and the institutions of governance under Tony Blair. While the ideological inspiration of the Blair regime remains open to debate, the books published to date also shed light on this contentious subject.