Playing Tough is an entertaining and thoroughly enlightening look at the unique and surprisingly outsized role that sports have played in politics and history. Ever since the bread and circuses of Rome, sports have been used as a tool to entertain the masses and to instill civic pride. Abrams shows both the positive and the negative ways in which sports and politics have coalesced, from the rabid nationalism of the 1936 Nazi Olympics, the political grudge match of the Louis and Schmeling fights, and the futbol war between Honduras and Costa Rica to the inspiring stories of South Africa's rugby nation-building and Muhammad Ali's brave antiwar stance, which nearly cost him his career. Abrams is an informed and impassioned writer who chronicles the profoundly creative and destructive influence that sports have on the political life of our nation and the world. This book will be of interest to any and all sports and politics enthusiasts and is a wonderful introduction for course creation and adoption.