This book was written in response to a suggestion by the Administration of the Central Research Institute of Physical Culture. This suggestion contained two objectives: first, to present as strict and precise a definition and analysis of the complex psychophysical capacity of dexterity as possible; second, to provide a popular overview of the contemporary understanding of the nature of movement coordination, motor skill, exercise, and so forth, which are of very high practical importance for both professionals in the area of physical education and for all the numerous participants of the physical-culture drive in our country, an overview that should encourage genuine culture in all connotations of this word. Thus, the book was conceived as popular-scientific.
The need for popular-scientific literature is very strong in our country. It would be basically wrong to dismiss this kind of literature on the grounds that the Soviet Union does not need "semieducated" citizens and that its citizens should have an undisputed right and means to master special literature without the condescension and arrogance that are, as some claim, inevitably present in popular-science literature. This view is totally wrong.
The time when a scientist could be equally well oriented in all areas of the natural sciences passed, irreversibly, long ago. Even 200 years ago, it required the omnipotent genius of Lomonosov for such universality. In essence, he was the last representative of universal natural scientists. During the two centuries that separate us from Lomonosov, the volume and content of natural science have grown so immensely that scientists of our day spend all of their lives mastering the material of their major, narrow areas of specialization. Very few