Manhood in our culture is up for grabs. Just think Eliot Spitzer, Bernard Madoff, even David Letterman.

“Many of our public heroes have very public lives but privately are complete failures,” says Tom Matlack, co-editor of “The Good Men Project” (The Good Men Foundation, $15).

Matlack and two others created the project — a book, film and charity — to start a discussion on what manhood means today. In the book, 31 men from all walks of life share their stories, several of them from the Boston area.

“In the past, the roles of husband, father and worker were clearer,” says Matlack. “Where we are now in terms of the economy and foreign wars, many men under the surface are really grappling with what’s important and trying to sort out priorities.”

Articulating emotion is not easy for men, at least compared to women, says Matlack.
“The hope is that these stories will help men come to their own definition on what it means to be a good man,” Matlack says.

Though written for men by men, the book appeals to women, too.
“It’s a reading about the deeper truth of how men think,” says Matlack. “And frankly, to help men be better fathers and husbands, to show up more fully for the women in their lives.”

All proceeds from the book and film support at-risk men and boys; the project is 100 percent nonprofit.