Situated in the geographic center of Asia is a small republic called Tuva. Not many people visit Tuva, located in a remote part of Siberia, about halfway between Moscow And The Pacific Ocean and bordering on Outer Mongolia. it is difficult to travel to Tuva, and for most people there is little reason to visit there except for one fact: it is a severely iodine-deficient region.
This deficiency has resulted in varying degrees of loss of intellect, including frequent instances of cretinism among the young children in the remote western regions of the republic. Fistful of Promises chronicles author J. W. Green's experiences with this dire problem. He returned many times to Tuva, wanting to help the children of Tuva escape the tragic consequences of living on land that lacks iodine while subsisting on locally grown foods. More importantly, he wanted to solve the problem by involving the local government in a program to ensure trace amounts of iodine reach all Tuvans. Fistful of Promises follows Green through his entire campaign to try to change the thinking and habits of the Tuvans, Asian nomads who may be descendants of Genghis Khan.
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J. W. Green is retired from AT&T. Trained as a mathematician and statistician, he was well-qualified to design and carry out the studies about the influence of iodine on animal productivity. He lives in Pittstown, New Jersey, with his wife, Dorothy; a dog; a goat; and a barn cat.