Professor Publishes New Book
Journalism professor Nick Hirshon’s second book, entitled “Images of America: Forest Hills,” was released on Monday, Feb. 18. The book explores the history of the New York neighborhood through research and rare photos found in archives.
His first book was published through the same company, exploring the history of the historic Nassau Coliseum.
Hirshon said his interest in the topic came from growing up in the neighborhood and his passion for history.
“When I was a kid, I was always interested in history,” he said. “Looking around I was seeing all these landmarks that wasn’t getting the attention they deserved.”
Hirshon said that the most difficult part of putting together the book was not the research involved, but getting the photos that make up a majority of the pages.
“These books are really driven by photos,” he said. “Sometimes people would charge you a fortune for photos.”
Part of his research came from his time as a student at the University, saying that in his freshman year, he did a speech on the neighborhood. During that time, he had found photos in books that appeared to have been donated to the school and he came back to the University archives while putting this book together.
Despite having a passion and interest in history, Hirshon doesn’t think he’ll be teaching a course on it anytime soon.
“I don’t think I’m qualified to be teaching history,” he said.
Working as a professor and an author, Hirshon said he planned the work for the book so that he did not become overwhelmed with both responsibilities.
“I pitched the idea to the publisher last April,” he said. “I didn’t start until the semester ended and then I went full throttle. I handed in all the material right before classes started. Once school starts, then you’re grading papers and making assignment.”
Hirshon admitted that it would’ve been difficult to be a professor and work on the book at the same time.
“You need to be totally enveloped in it,” he said about the research project. “I made it my summer project.”
When asked if he has any plans for a future book, Hirshon said, “It’s certainly not the last book I’ll ever write,” and that in researching material for this book, he has ideas for future books based on other NYC neighborhoods and landmarks.
He also hopes to hold a book signing or discussion sometime soon at the Barnes and Noble on Union Turnpike.