André Spitzman Jordan, known as the father of tourism, is also a visionary who, during his 87 years, has seen big world changes. It is these transformations and his view on them that made André Jordan shares his memories in Uma Viagem pela vida, which he classifies as “the story of a life lived with love, with both exaltation and disappointment”.
“I was born in 1933 and I observed that every ten years there were significant changes, both in terms of behaviour and in relation to work. Nowadays, things change from day to day, which led to the reissue of the book that had been published just a year ago”, said André Jordan in an interview with The Portugal News.
André Jordan was born in Poland at a terrible moment during World War II. “We left overnight. Out of 50 members of the family, only seven survived”, remembered the author, who at that time fled from Poland to Portugal and then went to Brazil. After a few years, the Spitzman Jordan Family won a prominent position in Rio de Janeiro. Also, although, just a few members of his family survived the holocaust, “currently, our family have 15 different nationalities”, he said.

Technological innovations
After the Second World War, technological changes were the biggest revolution that allowed the development of many different sectors and activities. From the 50´s, information technologies, the mobile phone, among others, developed in a way that changed our lives forever. André Jordan lived through this entire process: “You can’t imagine how hard it was when you wanted to talk to someone and there was only a telephone - people were not always at home”. Such a small thing, but one that changed all the daily processes and routines, including in companies, restructuring all sectors of the economy to “become much more streamlined”.
These changes occurred without anyone foreseeing it. “Most academics and the general population did not predict this. Technology surprised the world. I still remember the time when I was a journalist when we made a small mistake we had to write all the text again. Even when I was already in the real estate sector, when we did a calculation about a project and then we wanted to make any changes, we had to do everything again.”
However, he recognises that technology also has limits. Robotisation is one of them. “Robotisation is an advance without thinking about the consequences; the world has to organise itself first. We will have to support the millions of workers who will become obsolete. The world must first adjust to this transition, which, in turn, must provide for the support of these millions of people”, whose work is no longer necessary due to its faster and cheaper execution by a robot. Therefore, André Jordan considers that we have to find, through planning, useful ways to give life to these people, without systematically using social benefits - “people need to have useful lives”, he said to The Portugal News.
When André Jordan was born in the 30’s, women still had a very domestic role and this was also a reality thatAndré Jordan followed. “I was already married when the contraceptive pill was invented”.
Besides that, he doesn’t consider himself as a feminist. In his words: “Women are much better than men. Women are better because they have a capacity for management, analysis and an absence of ego (which dominates men a lot), also serenity and impartiality in judgment. I would say that women are more purposeful to the public cause than to private interests. More and more women have reached prime ministers’ positions and have contributed a lot for humanitarian advance”.
In addition, there are several episodes in history that André Jordan recalls in his book, in which several illustrations can be observed while we flip through pages. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the opening of Eastern Europe, Marshall Plan, atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are just a few examples that changed the world we live in.
Also a curious point is that the creator of Quinta do Lago, was almost always there. “I was always there in the right moment when things happened. I was in Paris when May 68 took place, I followed it with friends”, and that was a highlight for sexual freedom, in his point of view.

“I predict the end of Shopping Centres”
Being that the book focuses on major events in world history, this huge new transformation that the pandemic has brought could not be forgotten. For this very reason, he has penned a special edition of his book in which he dedicates a new chapter where he comments on the impacts and challenges that the pandemic has brought us.
“Humanity has a great capacity for adaptation. The pandemic has brought a huge transformation to online e-commerce and home delivery. Currently, I predict the end of shopping centres, they are almost obsolete, they have to adapt and differentiate their usefulness in order to maintain themselves”, said businessman to The Portugal News.
“We are facing a moment of huge changes in the peoples’ lives: global warming, robotisation, pandemics. There are many things that are affecting our society at the moment, it is a time when large organisations (UN, EU) have to create compensation mechanisms”, said André Jordan who highlighted the issue of plastic. For example, “Plastic uses fossil fuels and all of this is doomed, however, there are many people who live from this industry”.
In the 700 pages that make up André Spitzman Jordan’s book, we find a book written with passion for people who are curious to find out more about his interesting life path. A prose full of striking episodes that can be read as a real-life novel, where fairy tales, historical romance, power struggles, financial chronicles and poetic prose all come together in the pages.
Uma Viagem pela Vida by André Jordan is available at bookstores.