Guts: The Lane Evans Story

Written by Devin Hansen

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 passed in 2014 from complications brought on by Parkinson’s, but his life and legacy endure in these pages, a mix of “Tuesday’s with Morrie” and “Portrait of a President”

  • Founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus with Bernie Sanders in 1991
  • Founded the House Populist Caucus with Barbara Boxer in 1981
  • Named #1 foe of Ronald Reagan in 1982
  • Returned 10% of his salary each year to the IRS to protest the deficit and debt
  • Sponsored The Agent Orange Act of 1991
  • Fought for Universal Healthcare, Unions, Veteran’s Benefits and the Environment.
  • Never took a dime from Lobbyists, other than Environmental and Labor groups.
  • Declined pay raises and congressional pension until his final years in office.
  • Died of Parkinson’s Disease in 2014, near penniless

“I was proud to have him by my side when I was elected 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