Dan Rodricks: Vanished faces of a West Virginia boom town

John Dos Passos

In books, Baltimore beats Denver

In books, Baltimore beats Denver

As the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos get ready for their big playoff game Saturday, there are plenty of opinions about how the teams and cities compare. But in one competition -- based on books -- Baltimore wins hands down.

The East Coast city had the advantage of time and history, of course, and in literary matters, that can be a big edge. Denver didn't get its start until the mid-1800s, when word of a gold strike brought settlers to the banks of the South Platte River. By that time, Edgar Allan...