NOTE: The book was originally going to be published by Western Illinois University. However, due to budget cuts, the project was scrapped so we are currently looking for a publisher. To review the manuscript online in the Preview Section, please contact Devin Hansen at LaneEvansStory@gmail.com for a password. Thank you.
“Guts: The Lane Evans Story” is a political biography of Lane Allen Evans, a twelve-term Congressman from the 17th District of Illinois. He died in 2014 due to complications bought on by Parkinson’s disease.
Over the course of his career, Lane never took a pay raise and donated 10% of his salary back to the IRS, despite having little to no money himself. He was the first Democrat to win his district since the Civil War and gained widespread respect from both sides of the aisles for his honesty and intelligence. One of his biggest accomplishments was securing health benefits for victims of Agent Orange. Lane is remembered for having the guts to vote his conscience, rather than what was politically expedient. He’s proof that a politician can be truthful and idealistic, and still win elections.
The book has a “dual-narrative.” One is a detailed account of Lane’s life and career, and the second chronicles his final years battling Parkinson’s. The book also details Lane’s contribution to populist politics and his influence on the early days of Barack Obama’s political career.
This project officially began in the autumn of 2008, but truly began much earlier. I first met Lane Evans at the age of 9, and quickly became a life-long admirer of his strength, intelligence, humility, and guts. His story is both inspiring and tragic, not just to his friends and supporters, but to students, aspiring politicians, and those who are battling Parkinson’s disease.
Audience and Market
The book would appeal to a gamut of readers, including veterans, environmentalists, Parkinson’s patients, Populists, and students of grass-roots political organization. One narrative explores Lane’s unique campaigning methods, his constituent outreach, the bi-partisanship that used to exist in Washington, and what politicians can achieve through integrity and compromise. The second narrative details the physical and mental effects of Parkinson’s disease, as well as the social and personal struggles. Lane wanted to show people what they can accomplish while suffering from Parkinson’s.
I have been married to my wife since 1995 and we have three children. I graduated from Illinois State University in 1998 with a BA in English, where I often spoke with the late David Foster Wallace. For several years I worked as a Reporter for the local newspaper and have had a few short stories published online. I have worked as a professional writer since 2006.