More of Kushner's provocative writing can be found in Thinking about the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness: Essays, A Play, Two Poems, and a Prayer (1995). As the lengthy and descriptive title indicates, the work contains another play, Slavs!, as well as some of Kushner' s thoughts, in essay form, on relationships, sexuality, identity, and American politics.
Larry Kramer's 1985 drama The Normal Heart examines the AIDS epidemic as the public was just becoming aware of the problem. The play dramatizes the early history of the disease and accuses the government, media, and conservative religious groups of ignoring the public health threat by labeling the epidemic a "gay plague."
Kushner cites the work of German playwright Bertolt Brecht as a strong influence on his writing style. Some of Brecht's better known epic plays are Mother Courage and Her Children, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and The Threepenny Opera.
After Heaven: Spirituality in America since the 1950s (1998) by Robert Wuthnow suggests Americans in the last few decades have shifted away from a "spirituality of dwelling" and toward a "spirituality of seeking." Part of the seeking process means exploring new beliefs and religions, as well as personal encounters with spiritual figures, such as angels.
Citizen Cohn (1988) by Nicholas Von Hoffman is the biography of Roy Marcus Cohn, ruthless lawyer, communist-basher, closeted homosexual, and loathed icon of the Cold War era. The book (a feature film adaptation starring James Woods as Cohn is available on video) provides a disturbing look at the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s, the Rosenberg trial, Cohn's behind-the-scenes manipulations and secret sexual identity, and his death of AIDS in 1986.