A few years after the publication of The Physics of Star Formation and Early Stellar Evolution, we received a request from the publisher for an up- dated second edition of this popular reference book. As originally intended, the volume had proved to be a useful "text" book for graduate astronomy courses and seminars which dealt with topics related to stellar origins. The book was based on a series of lectures delivered by a distinguished group of leading researchers at a NATO Advanced Study Institute (ASI) held in May 1990 on the island of Crete, Greece. The primary goal of the ASI was in fact to produce a book which "would simultaneously provide a broad and systematic overview of, as well as a rigorous introduction to, the fun- damental physics and astronomy at the heart of modern research in star formation and early stellar evolution. " However, by 1995 concern had arisen among those who used the text as a reference for graduate seminars and courses that the book would need to be updated to stay abreast of the discoveries and progress in this rapidly evolving field. After some discussion we concluded that a new edition of the book was warranted and that the goal of producing a new edition would be best accomplished by organizing a second ASI in Crete to review the progress in star formation research.