“The dispatch of American armed forces to a seat of operations in a place far from our own shores, and this for what is actually a major police action in another country and in a situation where no defensible American interest is involved—this, obviously, is something that the Founding Fathers of this country never envisaged or would ever have approved. If this is in the American tradition, then it is a very recent tradition.”Forget the political content of that statement and consider only the elegance of the style. Can you imagine reading anything this gracefully expressed in any mainstream publication today, let alone in a diary (whether or not intended for eventual public view)?
Kennan was not a professional writer (not primarily, anyway). His writing can fairly be considered representative of how well-educated Americans of his generation expressed themselves on paper.
Forgive me if I lament how badly the standard for good writing has slipped since Kennan's time.