I read this book about 21-Jan-2015. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1962. This note was last modified Thursday, 29-Jan-2015 21:02:31 PST.
This is book 1 of the "Fuzzy" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Pretty optimistic. The Federation is a very fine place indeed—they recognize the sentience of species with only an 82-word vocabulary, and one decision by a local judge on the Fuzzy's sentience is enough to overturn the charter of the Zarathustra company.
There's some pretty bad stuff contemplated, like creating a market for Fuzzy pelts, but it never actually happens. One poor man get so wound up in the lies he's trying to prove that he ends up killing a Fuzzy—but he feels so guilty he commits suicide, so he doesn't get convicted and shot.
Lucky the Fuzzies are so sane and non-political, and that they met Jack Holloway first.