Behavior: Bringing Dr. Spock Up to Date

The famed best seller appears in its fifth version

Donald Geddes, a former editor at Pocket Books, made the sales pitch of his life in 1943. Badgering a reluctant pediatrician who felt that he lacked the knowledge to attempt a book on babies, Geddes tried a bit of psychological % judo. At 25 cents a copy, he declared, a baby book was bound to sell briskly no matter what it said. So, he concluded, "the book we want doesn't have to be very good."

"That hit the spot," recalls Benjamin Spock, 42 years and 30 million copies later. "The fact that he didn't say, 'We want the best damned book...

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