Although Morris Childs (1902-1991) was treated as a friend by Soviet rulers Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov, this Chicago communist and onetime editor of the Daily Worker, the U.S. Communist Party newspaper, was an American spy working for the FBI. Barron (FBI Today) interviewed his wife, Eva Lieb Childs, and numerous FBI operatives to produce this remarkable true-life espionage story, which often reads like a spy thriller. According to Barron, Operation Solo (as the Childses' group was called) yielded intelligence that enabled Washington to exploit the Soviet Union's widening rift with China in the 1960s; their spying also helped Nixon and Kissinger forge ahead with diplomatic ties to Beijing. Born Moishe Chilovsky, near Kiev (he emigrated to America when he was nine), Childs also befriended Castro, Mao Tse-tung, East Germany's Walter Ulbricht and other Communist leaders. In 1987, Reagan awarded him a presidential medal. Photos.