“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.
The book will be published by Strong Arm Press, with release date yet to be determined.
Devin was born when the Earth’s population was about 4 billion people. In his lifetime, that number has doubled to nearly 8 billion people. He was married in 1995 and has three children. He studied writing at Illinois State University in the late 90’s, where he often spoke with the late David Foster Wallace about writing and the greatest sport in the world, Tennis. For several years Devin worked as a Reporter for the local newspaper, had a few short stories published online, and even ran his own pub for awhile. His first word was “Baby” because that’s what he was, and his last word will likely be “Insignificant.”