George Lippard, the prolific Philadelphia author and reformer whose The Quaker City; or, The Monks of Monk Hall (1845) was America’s best-selling novel before the appearance of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), redirected themes and devices from European sensational writings in such a way that they became both more extreme and more politically radical. Borrowing as well from a number of American writers-Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, and penny-press journalists in particular-Lippard created a new kind of literary discourse that can be called radical sensationalism. This discourse, utilized by some other revolutionary writers of the era, notably Karl Marx, generated many zestful, subversive images of the sort that enlivened certain works by major authors of the American Renaissance such as Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Walt Whitman.1 Despite his connections with such figures, George Lippard was sui generis. One can look far and wide in the literary annals without finding another writer who combined sensationalism and working-class radicalism with his fiery intensity.