This book describes in nontechnical language one of the success stories of modern (twentieth-century) astronomy. It presents us with the physical picture of what constitutes a star, a description of how a star evolves with time, how its shape and brightness change, how it manufactures the chemical elements deep in its interior, what makes it explode... The presentation also includes exotic objects such as supernovae, pulsars, neutron stars and white dwarfs, and of course, black holes. This revised edition brings the discussion up to date with the inclusion of astronomical events like Supernova 1987A and findings from the Hubble Space Telescope as well as other observations. The book is appropriate as supplementary material for an elementary course on astronomy and astrophysics.