"If Americans were to learn of wartime inequalities, the public would become more circumspect about future military action," writes Douglas Kriner after studying class inequalities in the army. "It is well to dream of glorious war in a snug armchair at home. But it is a very different thing to see it first hand," says the narrator in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. In it, a desperately poor Englishman feels he has no option but to join the army. It is an event which is mirrored by today's American army whose ranks are disproportionately occupied by members of poorer households who therefore suffer the highest casualty rates.