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Learning War: The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U. S. Navy, 1898 – 1945, Trent Hone

Learning War examines the US Navy’s doctrinal development from 1898–1945 and explains why the Navy in that era was successful as an organization at fostering innovation. A revolutionary study of one of history’s greatest success stories, this book draws profoundly important conclusions that give new insight into how the Navy succeeded in becoming the best naval force in the world but also into how modern organizations can exploit today’s rapid technological and social changes in pursuit of success. Trent Hone argues that the Navy created a sophisticated learning system in the early years of the twentieth century that

led to repeated innovations in the development of surface warfare tactics and doctrine. Conditions that allowed these innovations to emerge are analyzed through consideration of the Navy as a com- plex adaptive system. Learning War is the first major work to apply this complex learning approach to military history, which permits a richer understanding of mechanisms that enable human organiza- tions to evolve, innovate, and learn, and offers new insights into the history of the United States Navy.

Trent Hone is an authority on the US Navy of the early twen- tieth century and a leader in the application of complexity science to organizational design. He studied religion and archaeology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He works as a consultant helping a variety of organizations improve their processes and tech- niques. Hone writes and speaks about tactical doctrine, organiza- tional learning, and complexity.