“Guts: The Lane Evans Story” is a political biography of Lane Allen Evans, a twelve-term Congressman from the 17th/19th 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.
Lane Evans was arguably one of the most progressive members of the U.S. Congress during his 12-term tenure in a Midwestern swing district. In Guts: The Lane Evans Story, author Devin Hansen explores Lane’s career as a man who had the guts to vote his conscience rather than what was politically expedient, and chronicles his fighting spirit during those final years enduring Parkinson’s disease. In Hansen’s telling, Lane is proof that a politician can be truthful and idealistic – and still win.
Lane Evans earned widespread respect from both sides of the aisle for his honesty, intelligence, and relentless commitment to veterans’ issues and his constituents. Lane passed in 2014 from complications brought on by Parkinson’s, but his life and legacy endure in these pages.
“I was proud to have him by my side when I was eleted President. Above all, Lane was an American hero, a dear friend, and a beloved public servant of the people of Illinois.” — President Barack Obama
“Lane’s tireless advocacy on behalf of America’s veterans was just one of the many highlights of a long and distinguished career in the House of Representatives. Veterans, as well as millions of Americans, from across this country have benefited immensely from his efforts. He will be sorely missed.” — Senator Bernie Sanders
“It was my good luck to know and learn from Lane, who had the guts, smarts, and integrity to take on the bigshots, bastards, and BSers – and win! His career (and this book) show how an unabashed progressive can thrive for 24 years in a congressional swing district by being true to his core values and those of his diverse constituency. GUTS is also a touching narrative about Lane’s final years fighting Parkinson’s, revealing how even a former member of Congress can be battered by America’s corporate healthcare system.” — Progressive activist & broadcaster Jim Hightower