What is a Disaster? New Answers to Old Questions is the title of a new volume, edited by R.W. Perry and E.L. Quarantelli, which addresses this most basic question: that of defining the phenomenon. It is important that researchers begin to develop a consensus about the meaning of disasters and related phenomena and this book brings together 12 social scientists to share their definition and vision of disasters. In the process, a wide range of views are expressed and issues raised regarding the relationship of academic vs. practical definitions and the impact of grouping types of disasters in different ways. The editors close the volume with discussions of an agenda for disaster research in the twenty-first century.