Benjamin McLane Spock (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998) was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care (1946) is one of the best-selling volumes in history. The book’s premise to mothers is that “you know more than you think you do.”Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children’s needs and family dynamics. His ideas about childcare influenced several generations of parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat them as individuals. However, his theories were also widely criticized by colleagues for relying too heavily on anecdotal evidence rather than serious academic research.Spock was an activist in the New Left and anti Vietnam War movements during the 1960s and early 1970s. At the time, his books were criticized for propagating permissiveness and an expectation of instant gratification which allegedly led young people to join these movements—a charge that Spock denied. Spock also won an Olympic gold medal in rowing in 1924 while attending Yale University.