(Written Dec 3, 2015 catching up)
It seems like a lot of the classic sci-fi books from the 70s and 80s (is that the Silver Age?) are about first contact, with most of the story following the actual learning process. Lots going on in this book. I really enjoyed it, but found it ultimately not sure if it wanted to be a political treatise on xenophobia or an actual story. The comparison of the alien advanced tech compared to the human was innovative and believable.