When I read Annapurna, by Maurice Herzog, my reaction to the “solemn” oath that the members of the expedition took, in which they “swore upon [their] honor to obey the leader in everything regarding the Expedition,” was that the exercise was overly dramatic and superfluous (Herzog, 5). These were experienced climbers, after all, who were chosen for the unique attributes that they contributed to the group, and their opinions should be as equally respected as their mental and mountaineering abilities. To many classmates, including myself, it seemed as if Herzog frequently took advantage of this sworn loyalty to act in a selfish manner, which arguably unnecessarily endangered their cause.With Annapurna still fresh in my memory, Arlene Blum’s style of leadership therefore immediately struck me as markedly contrasted to Herzog’s, for better or for worse. She accepts criticism and second guessing from her fellow Expeditioners based on her perspective of working with peers, as opposed to leading subjects; she admits her weaknesses, and elucidates the strengths of others, for instance that Liz was “the most experienced technical ice climber”, and that Allison had “climbed higher than the rest of [the Expedition members]” (19,20). Despite the fact that I strongly disagree with the arguments presented against allowing women to attempt the climb of Annapurna, as detailed in the Preface and Introduction, I must admit that I was more worried for their lives than I was for Herzog’s company. Perhaps this was due to the in-depth characterization provided by Blum, and withheld by Herzog, and I merely felt more attached and involved with the prior’s livelihoods. I find it equally debatable, however, that my increased anxiety was justified by the democratic style of leadership that Blum employed. As much as I dislike the taste of it, I find myself playing Devil’s Advocate to my own criticisms of Herzog’s leadership with Annapurna: A Woman’s Place as evidence. It was an extremely dangerous expedition that these women were attempting. It is explicitly stated that “one in ten” Himalayan climbers never return. With that reality laid before them, and extreme conditions where a single step “a little farther to the right” differentiated life from death, it seemed irresponsible of Blum to promote individuality (221).