In the Critics this week

Amanda Foreman's review of Orlando Figes, Ryan Gilbey on Clio Barnard and Will Self on cop killers.

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In Critic at Large, A C Grayling forecasts a dramatic shrinkage in higher education as a result of budget cuts and substantial increases in tuition fees. Ryan Gilbey thinks that Clio Barnard's new feature, The Arbor, defies classification. Rachel Cooke is seduced by Howard Jacobson's handling of Victorian "flesh" in the latest installment of Channel 4's series on The Genius of British Art.

Andrew Billen writes a scathing review of Martin Sherman's play Onassis, revived at the Novello Theatre; Antonia Quirke likes Darren Redick's accent and Planet Rock's website, if not the station itself; in his weekly column, Will Self turns to charges of "unlawful killing" made against police officers in Britain and the US.

The furore unleashed by Orlando Figes's rude reviews of rival academic studies, anonymously posted on Amazon, should not blind us to the merits of his latest book, Crimea: the Last Crusade, says Amanda Foreman. For Peter Hain, the new shadow cabinet would do well to ponder on The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? by Polly Toynbee and David Walker. Jonathan Derbyshire talks to Daniel Kehlmann about his novel Fame in the Books interview.

There is more: Mark Vernon reviews Frans de Waal's study of animal behaviour in The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society, Anthony Howard discusses William Cook's edited collection of the journalist Auberon Waugh's writings, Alex Preston is underwhelmed by Roberto Bolaño's first novel, The Skating Rink, while D J Taylor muses on the posthumous publication of Philip Larkin's Letters to Monica.

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