Rejecting the definition of family promulgated by the Religious Right, Healthy American Families: A Progressive Alternative to the Religious Right offers an innovative approach to understanding 21st-century families. Proactive rather than reactive, it explores the ways families have changed over the past 200 years and builds on that to elucidate the larger forces that continue to redefine male and female roles and the shape of the modern family unit.
Part one of the book shows that the Religious Right's claim that a Golden Age of Families existed when our country began is fallacious. Instead families have been changing since the days of the Puritans. Part two picks up the threads to show how, in the wake of those changes, most of today's families are "healthier" than families at the time of our country's founding. Healthy families, the book asserts, spring from a blend of "conservative" ideals (responsibility and accountability) and "liberal" ideals (innovation and change). The result is "responsible change" that benefits both the individual and society.