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A heartfelt look at the life of a man who placed his role as a father with an autistic son above his service to the country as deputy prime minister

'My name is Tim, and that is what I want you to call me, except if another officer is present and especially if it is the CO, Lt Col Bennett, then I am Sir. At all other times I am Tim.'

When Tim Fischer's elder son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, it triggered Tim's resignation as federal National Party leader and deputy prime minister of Australia. An outpouring of emotion across the political divide greeted his decision, a rarity in a political environment where few leaders choose to give up power and prominence.

In I am Tim, Peter Rees uncovers the influences that shaped a key figure of twentieth-century Australian political life, from a Jesuit boarding school to the rigours of officer training and the battlefields of Vietnam, time in state and federal politics, marriage to Judy Brewer and life at home. Fischer's interests and activities after politics were many and varied, spanning a diplomatic posting to the Holy See, new historical studies, and chairing the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway.

Tim Fischer emerges as a man of energy and ambition but also of humanity, courage and love.