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Dr. Spock

"Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do," he began his classic manual, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, which became the biggest-selling book after the Bible in U.S. history which sold approximately 50 million copies since its appearance in 1946. Dr. Spock was nearby on the bookshelf with words of practical advice for parents panicking over how to handle toilet training or a colicky baby wailing through the night. The parents of America's baby boom generation turned to Spock when his book appeared at the end of two decades of world war and depression when families were in search of peace, settling in and starting families.

Spock graduated at the top of his class at Columbia University's medical school and worked for 10 years as a pediatrician before writing Baby and Child Care. Most American mothers brought up their children with Spock by their side.

Spock, horrified by what he saw as a young pediatrician, resolved to come up with a unique approach to raising children. He filled his book with psychoanalytic notions he learned at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, explaining the emotions surrounding breast-feeding, toilet training, spanking, the Oedipus complex, and "penis envy"--without using any of Freud's exact terms. Spock sensed that America, with its Puritanical history, wasn't ready for a straight dose of Freud, so he touched it up in his soft and friendly way. He saw pediatrics as politics and felt that finer parenting and better schools would inevitably bring out a well rounded and healthier community and eventually a healthier world. Some of the questions Spock addresses are: What is the mix of love and discipline that helps a child become the happiest and most successful adult possible? How does a parent balance the demands of a family and a career? What are the proper roles of men and women in marriage and child rearing? What should a person, parent or child, be willing to risk for what he believes, and at what cost to others? Is the fate of our children determined by a combination of genetics and powerful biological urges? Or can we make a difference in our children's lives--and in society at large--by becoming more nurturing parents, as Spock implicitly promised in his book?

Dr. Spock will be continue to be associated with the bringing up healthy children and being the man who introduced a new way of raising Americas children.

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do."