Almost everything around us is the product of human labor -- much of it performed in faraway places. This award-winning series, a co-production of Marketplace and Homelands, takes you into the lives of single workers in the global economy:

The pirate. Meet Agus Laodi, right, who has a hard time saving his money. And read a 5-part series in Slate about how I met Agus.

The international prostitute. "Samanta," who works in an oil-boom town.

The smuggler. Hussein Ralib Esfandiari, who captains a cargo boat from Dubai to Iran, despite the risks.

The cargo agent. Wahid Khan Habibula, who ships people out of Saudi Arabia ... after they die.


Women in Saudi Arabia: Dating, Driving, and Working. Hear the stories on "Marketplace."

Summer in America: Man Versus Fish, Walking to New Orleans, and Come and See. Hear the stories on "Weekend America."

Ten Days in Dagestan. Hear it on "The World."

Bob's prairie. Hear it on "Stories from the Heart of the Land."

The Story of Zora, a self-made superhero. Hear it on "This American Life."


Two days before the 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., fabled Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated, and in death, he assumed a new life. View the story on Six Billion.

Twenty-five years after the war, can the Vietnamese government provide for its people? View a story for The New York Times on the Web.

The World Trade Center's self-appointed tour guide. Read his story in Esquire.

The story of Paridah binti Abas, a woman at the center of the Southeast Asian jihad. Read it in Slate magazine.

Read book reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle: Richard Lloyd Parry's In the Time of Madness, Stephen Kinzer's Overthrow, Edward Luce's In Spite of the Gods, Barry Rubin's The Truth About Syria, Steve Levine's The Oil and the Glory, and Mark LeVine's Heavy Metal Islam.

Women of The World: When the gang is family and the street is home. Read their stories in the Chicago Tribune Sunday magazine, and hear about the story on "This American Life."

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