This remarkable memoir captures the life and times of a rare American Renaissance gentleman who plays his role brilliantly in the international arena as a “trans-Atlantic free agent”. His swash-buckling diplomatic flair and derring do, cultural dexterity, and savoir faire bear witness to some of the most unforgettable characters and events that have shaped our world today. This book is a must read. So, don’t just stand there, pick it up!
— Terence Ward
I grew up with the Vreeland family intertwined with our own. Frecky was more handsome than James Bond, and just as mysterious, although I never knew why. His laughter and wit, his grace and charm, dazzle to this day. Frecky has it all; he has been at the center of the worlds of politics, art, fashion, and society, and no one is in a better position to shed light on the inner workings of those worlds, back then, than Frecky.”
— Wendy Goodman
Design Editor, New York Magazine
Pope Francis with Sandra and Freck
Freck with First Lady Barbara Bush
With then Prince, now King, Mohamed VI of Morocco
“It is impossible to adequately describe Frederick Vreeland with a single word, though “bon vivant” is a good beginning. “Mr. Ambassador” is a prestigious honorific that doesn’t do him justice, so is “presidential advisor.” It’s only when you get to his secret, parallel 35-year career as a “CIA officer” working under diplomatic cover that you fully appreciate his dexterity. Born into wealth and surrounded by fame he rubbed shoulders with Presidents, played polo with Royalty and entertained the likes of Mick Jagger at his casbah outside Marrakech. It requires a memoir to tell that story and Vreeland, thankfully, at age 94 has completed a great one.
— Steve Kroft
60 Minutes, Ret.
This autobiography uncovers a life filled with privilege and commitment to one’s country. Freck traces his privileged life with his mother, one of the most well-known women in the world, to his own successful career as an undercover sleuth who earned his reputation working closely with President Kennedy in missions behind the Iron Curtain, and finally as US Ambassador to Morocco, one of our most important allies of the post-Cold War period. It is an uplifting account of Freck’s life and an inspiration for those who aspire to contribute to making the world just a little bit better for human-kind.
— Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel, Ret.
I am very much looking forward to reading the memoir of Frederick “Freck” Vreeland. For many decades I have been a fan of Diana Vreeland and friend to both her sons, Tim and Frecky. His upcoming book promises to give a real glimpse into the fascinating life he has lived as a diplomat and a CIA officer during the Cold War and of the many interesting people he has worked with.
— Jacqueline Bisset
Ambassador Vreeland has lived in many worlds during a long and colorful life, and he invites us to enter each one in this entertaining and insightful memoir. What is it like to be part of the Knickerbocker elite? What is it like to be a spy? What is it like to count two presidents of the United States as personal friends? What is it like to walk with kings as ambassador in an exotic land? What is it like to receive wisdom from a living deity? It is all here—this and so much more.
— Ambassador Chase Untermeyer, Ret.
There’s something devious, deceptive about this book but then its author ended up a spy, a spook, worked for the CIA. Beginning as a light canter through the US Upper Classes (Kennedys, people called Auchincloss) he ends up present during most of the Cold War as he teaches JFK to say (and how to say) “Ich bin ein Berliner.” A Berliner is in fact a donut! So . . . History and wit. And jug loads of charm. A joy.
— Stephen Frears
Filmmaker and producer
In the heavenly decorated rooms of Freck’s Marrakesh home to the rooftop terrace of Freck’s flat in Rome, I have over the years wallowed in Freck’s fascinating stories.
He is delightful company, the perfect host, as he takes you into his past with his well enunciated voice. His stories, gently unraveled to me, over many decades, many cities and countries from wanderings in Geneva to our Christmas in a cave in Libya to students in Myanmar: never exaggerated, never boastful, and always respectful to others. I am delighted that at last I will have the pleasure of reading them all.
— Gaye Paterson
Freck Vreeland is one of the most knowledgeable people that I know. He is a friend who has been generous to me throughout my life and a father figure full of warmth and wisdom. It is a pleasure to listen to his observations because of his profound interest in everything around him. Even now when I visit Rome, I still immerse myself in his guide book, written many years ago, to discover the intricate hidden details about every facet of that city. Freck is a man that I admire very much. I had always hoped that he would write an autobiography, and I am so happy that he has. I highly recommend reading it.
— Damian Elwes
Throughout my whole life I’ve known about Freck’s power to change others by meeting him and being inspired by his extraordinary life. This stemmed from when I was a young child and the fond memories I had of him driving through Paris in a yellow Rolls Royce named Dr. No and many other adventures over the years. His ability to change the lives of others comes from who he is and how he chose to lead his life to the fullest. Now, with this autobiography, I’ve realized how much more there is to know about him and how the world can now also be gifted, moved and inspired by the Freck Vreeland so many of us love and cherish.
— Fabien Beckers
Head of Digital Pathology at Verily, Google Life Sciences
Caroline Vreeland, musician, IG Star, grandniece
Marisa Berenson, actress
President George H.W. Bush appointed Vreeland as US Ambassador to Morocco
Frecky has been a friend since the beginning of my life, through many wondrous circumstances, the first being his exceptional mother, Diana, and his father, Reed Vreeland, very dear to my parents and my grandmother. Diana was to me as a godmother and mentor. Thanks to this treasured relationship, I have known, admired, and respected Frecky throughout his impressive career, as an American diplomat in Paris, Rome, and Morocco.
Frecky is a fascinating man, a free spirit with dashing good looks, charm, and a brilliant mind. He carries in his genes the class, the joie de vivre, the adventurous spirit of living life to its fullest, with love and panache, making it his own very unique journey.
I admire his courage, his empathy, his humor as he has gone through the labyrinth of life through wars and presidents; his dedication to his country and to the people he has served with humility, dignity, and honor, through glory and disappointment, loss and rebirth.
Frecky’s life is an extraordinary tale of a man who has followed his heart, searched deep into his soul, and lived a boundless, rich, and profound life. I can’t wait to discover more and more of his inspiring adventure.
— Marisa Berenson
In the realm of international diplomacy, nothing, it is said, is so valued a currency as experience. And, when it comes to experience, few have ever matched the astonishing breadth, depth, or worldliness of Freck Vreeland. A treasure trove of a thousand and one delights, Please Call Me Freck ought to be required reading for all young diplomats in training, and for anyone wishing to understand the ways of the world.
— Tahir Shah
Having read some excerpts from his exciting new memoir, I now see my great-uncle Freck in a whole new light. Growing up I knew next to nothing of his bold and colorful professional and personal life. (We were told about the ambassadorship to Morocco, but didn’t know about the CIA until recently!) All I knew was what everyone in the Vreeland family knew: The way Frecky made you feel when you were around him. To sit beside him at dinner was to feel like the chosen one; and to share his sarcastic looks and witty banter between courses was like being invited into a private club. Frecky always has the zinger, the last laugh—never at anyone else’s expense, but in a way that made everyone feel loved and included. I feel lucky and proud to know Freck in this way, and now to read about the life path that has molded him into the man we all love is riveting.
— Caroline Vreeland
As a young girl, I adored Freck. My youngest memories are that he simply was the most handsome, intelligent, witty, fascinating, stylish, affectionate man I had ever met. My fondness of him has only grown stronger with each passing year, supplemented only by tremendous admiration of his intellect, passion, service, devotion. His accomplishments throughout his personal life and career are a treasure to behold, and I look forward to sharing his insightful perspective in his memoirs with the many who will be inspired by his life.
— Tatiana Platt
Brand Media and Development Consultant,
I met Freck and Vanessa in Washington in 1990, having arrived in the Australian Embassy after a posting as Australian Ambassador in Yangon (Rangoon). I hadn’t been in Washington long when I was called by a colleague in the State Department who said they wanted to add me and my wife Gaye Paterson to the list of people who could help the next US Ambassador to Myanmar and his wonderful Vanessa absorb the personality and beauty of that wonderful country.
Meeting this distinguished and urbane gentleman a few days later began a real friendship. It started with a smile and the words “Please call me Freck”. He is a man who can do anything, anywhere and anyhow.
It quickly became a family relationship for Gaye and I. We are drawn together by so much more than the acquaintances which unite friends, and since that time in 1990 we as families have never not been quick to share the abundance of life, warts and all.
That’s why it’s so exciting to see Freck’s memoir. His life is full of rich colour, imagination, fun and profound human spirit. My life owes tons to his example and I will thank him forever for his generosity in making that spirit so accessible.
— Ambassador Christopher Lamb, Ret.
In this insightful and adventurous memoir, Freck is vulnerable, empathetic, questioning, and curious, values that many more men, not to mention government officials, could and should adapt. This brilliant book is overflowing with life lessons and ‘teaching moments’ that are inspiring and at times, humorous and humbling. Reading his words is akin to setting sail on a modern-day Hero’s Journey.
— Cator Sparks
Life Coach for Men
Freck Vreeland’s eventful life is the stuff of novels: an American blueblood turned CIA agent turned US ambassador to Morocco. Full of bracing adventures, political intrigues, life lessons, and enduring loves, his memoir is told with charm, modesty, and candor.
— Mitch Owens
Editor Architectural Digest, Elle Décor