The New York Times

When the Government Went After Dr. Spock


In the national memory of 1968 — dominated by images of student protests, police riots and assassinations — the Boston conspiracy trial of Benjamin Spock, the world’s most famous baby doctor, and four other anti-war activists is too often forgotten.

Yet, as a courtroom drama, unfolding at the height of the Vietnam War, in a season of upheaval, the trial — which ended on June 14, 1968 — captivated the nation and foreshadowed a prolonged series of legal struggles arising from protest against the war.

The indictment of the “Boston Five” shocked the nation, not least because Spock was one of the most admired figures in America. To millions of parents who had bought his “Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care,” first published in 1946,

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