Football’s New York Giants: A History by Lawrence A. Pervin is an ambitious
undertaking that tackles the history of a sports franchise that nearly spans a century. The book
attempts to cover an incredible amount of material and condense it to less than 200 pages.

Pervin, a long-time fan of the Giants, presents the team’s history in chronological order
and divides the time into six chapters. Since each chapter has enough source material to fill its
own book, Pervin distills even the most important events to just a few paragraphs. The content is
not presented consistently in each chapter. At times the focus is on the players, but at others,
such as the chapter on the post-Parcells era, the coaches get most of the attention. Star players
are mentioned but more in passing.

Pervin’s lack of consistency causes a bit of difficulty following the narrative and
naturally his bias towards the Giant success stories clearly comes through. For instance, in the
second chapter (1955 – 1963) their championship game losses, of which there were many, are
barely mentioned other than the 1958 game. This 1958 loss to the Baltimore Colts could not be
ignored, no matter how painful the memory, because it is perhaps the most famous game of all
time (with several books devoted to recounting the gory details).

The book has a variety of minor errors. There are the typical typos, such as when an
article about hiring Bill Belicheck to replace Bill Parcells cites an article as being from 1961 that
presumably should have been from 1991. An endnote further down that page, credits Michael
Strahan’s sack record as coming against Bart Starr. However, Strahan was less than a month old
when Starr played his last game, and this infamous sack was against Brett Favre.

There is a tremendous amount of possible material left out of this condensed history.
Pervin’s announced biases for the Giants and for more recent history come through clearly. Still,
Pervin is quite upfront about these tendencies and the work provides a nice introduction to most
of the key moments in the history of the New York Giants. For this reason, the book is
recommended for those interested in an introductory team history or for any New York Giant

This book can be purchased from McFarland by calling 800-253-2187 or by shopping at