restricted access From Travel to Tourism: Harry Franck’s Writing on Mexico (1916–1940)

Since the early years of the Republic, Americans have eagerly consumed travel writing that brings the world home. Whereas the earlier travel accounts were aimed at armchair travelers attracted to tales of adventure, by the 1930s the advent of mass tourism called for travelogues that could serve as the basis for subsequent itineraries. Following the genre’s trends, Harry Franck, America’s most prolific travel writer, published, between 1916 and 1940, four books mainly about Mexico. I discuss how he traveled, how he portrayed Mexico’s land and people, and the literary context for his works. In all of Franck’s books, Mexico is divided into three distinct regions: the Mexican Plateau, the tropical lowlands, and the Yucatán. At the broadest scale he regarded Mexico as an “Indian land” with veneers of Americanization and Hispanization.