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Benjamin Spock's The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care is one of the best-selling books of the twentieth century, selling 500,000 copies in the six months after its initial publication in 1946, and 50 million by the time of Spock’s death in 1998. As of 2011, the book had been translated into 39 languages.

Spock and his manual helped revolutionize child-rearing methods for the post-World War II generation. Mothers heavily relied on Spock’s advice and appreciated his friendly, reassuring tone. Spock emphasizes in his book that, above all, parents should have confidence in their abilities and trust their instincts. The famous first line of the book reads, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”

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