Richard Holbrooke’s Papers Entrusted to George Packer

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When Richard C. Holbrooke died in December, he left behind the notes for a project he never had time to finish.

Mr. Holbrooke, a prominent diplomat in Democratic administrations since the 1960s, had planned to write a memoir, the story of a life that spanned numerous international conflicts, many of which he saw up close.

Now the keys to that archive have been handed over to George Packer, the author and a staff writer for The New Yorker, who has signed a deal with Knopf to write a book about Mr. Holbrooke’s career and the trajectory of American foreign policy during his time as a diplomat.

The idea came together after Mr. Holbrooke’s death, when a group of his friends approached Mr. Packer, the author of a New Yorker profile of Mr. Holbrooke in 2009, and asked him if he had thought of writing a book....

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