In Angels in America, Kushne r wondered , "How broad i s a community's embrace . How wid e doe s i t reach ? Communitie s al l ove r th e worl d no w ar e i n a tremen - dous crisi s ove r th e issu e o f ho w yo u le t g o o f th e pas t withou t forgettin g th e crimes tha t wer e committed " (Lahr , "Beyon d Nelly, " 129) . Th e tragi c pas t de - picted i n Kushner' s nex t play , Slavs! Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness (1994) , is no les s crushing , despit e th e comparativel y brie f running tim e (eight y minutes ) an d simple r dramati c structure . Slavs! a pla y more modestl y conceive d tha n eithe r o f th e tw o Angels plays-a choic e Kushne r must hav e mad e i n par t t o diffus e th e hig h expectation s fo r hi s firs t post-Angels play-is mor e overtl y satiri c than Angels. However , i t revisit s themes introduce d in thos e plays . The emphasi s i s o n politica l debat e an d governmenta l failur e a s seen through th e sad consequences o f a country-the crumblin g Sovie t Union o f the lat e 1980s-abandonin g th e socia l theorie s o f nearl y a hundre d years , embracing capitalis m too quickly , and facin g chang e without an y guiding princi - ples to replace those o f the past .