Norman Fruchter

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Norman Fruchter is a Jewish American writer, filmmaker, and academic.


He graduated from Rutgers University, in 1959, where he edited the literary magazine,[1] Anthologist.

He was arrested protesting with CORE and James L. Farmer, Jr., Bayard Rustin, Rev. Donald Harrington, and Michael Harrington, at the 1964 New York World's Fair.[2] From 1960 to 1962, he served as assistant to the editor of New Left Review.[3] He was an editor at Studies on the Left, (1959–1967).[4]


He was a member of Newsreel which was founded in 1967.

From 1968 to 1972, Newsreel produced sixty protest films, in New York and then in California. [Robert] Kramer moved to California and participated in the West Coast collectives movement, teaching for a while in San Francisco. In 1969, Kramer, Norman Fruchter and John Douglas produced People's War for Newsreel, shooting in North Vietnam during American bombing.[5]

As part of their mission to instigate social change, members of Newsreel would present films to political organizations and community groups across the United States.[6] The retrospective, Exit Art / The First World had Newsreel members Norman Fruchter, Roz Payne and Lynn Phillips discuss the films.[7] He was a member of SDS along with Tom Hayden, Jesse Allen, Robert Kramer, also full-time organizers for the group: Carol Glassman; Terry Jefferson; Constance Brown; Corinna Fales; and Derek Winans. He was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee.[8]

He recommended Christine Choy to the Newsreel group, after meeting her at Ironbound neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey.[9][10]


He was a member of School Board 15, in Brooklyn, and formed Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which sued the city of New York over inadequate school funding.[11] He headed the Institute for Education and Social Policy at New York University.[12] He commented on the Gates Foundation:

The Gates Foundation has given an enormous boost to small schools," Fruchter says. "Because of the extent of the funding, they have leverage with school systems that no one else has. They have helped make small schools a part of districtwide reform agendas in a way that wasn't possible before.[13]

He commented on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reforms:

Norman Fruchter, director of the Community Involvement Program at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and the author of a report highlighting problems afflicting New York's middle schools, said he did not think the changes would improve the situation in those schools. Autonomy is not a virtue in and of itself, he said. "If you're living in an abandoned building, you have lots of autonomy," he said. "What you need isn't autonomy" but help.... While there have been some gains in elementary scores, said Fruchter, it's "not translating into middle school gain." The school system, he said, "has not figured out how to build conceptual skills at the eighth grade level."[14]


He married Rachael G. Fruchter (d. July 15, 1997), who was member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology State University of New York for nearly 25 years.[15]


He won the first Edward Lewis Wallant Award.[16]



  • Coat Upon a Stick. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. 1962. ASIN B000O3Q0HU. 
  • Single File. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. 1970. 

Academic Papers[edit]


Profile of The Ginger Man's author J. P. Donleavy.
Review of the film The Savage Eye.
Cited in: Breines, Wini (1989), "Politics as community: participatory democracy", in Breines, Wini, Community and organization in the New Left, 1962-1968: the great refusal, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, pp. 61–62, ISBN 9780813514031.  Preview.
Cited in: Lazere, Donald (1987), "Introduction: entertainment as social control", in Lazere, Donald, American media and mass culture: left perspectives, Berkeley, California: University of California Press, p. 9, ISBN 9780520044968.  Preview.


  • Race Against Prime Time - ( Narrator(- Narration) / 1984 / Released / Albany Video )
  • The People's War - ( Director / 1970 / Released / )[17]
  • WE GOT TO LIVE HERE, Robert Machover & Norman Fruchter, (1965, 16mm B&W/sound, 20 min.)
  • Troublemakers, Robert Machover & Norman Fruchter, (1966, 16mm B&W/sound, 54 min.)[18]
  • FALN (1965), Peter Gessner, Norman Fruchter and Robert Machover, Robert Kramer
  • Summer '68 (1969)[19][20]


There was a time in literature when men aged gracefully and died benevolently. Now the old men of fiction are always difficult, as if they had all taken Dylan Thomas' advice: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." The hero of this novel rages even more than most. The novel covers only one day in his life, but its ferocity is enough for generations. Though old age is a curious subject for a first novel, Norman Fruchter, 25, writes with the accumulated wisdom of a nonagenarian....A reader is torn between exasperation and pity. It is a measure of Fruchter's skill that he can make the old man so grotesque and at the same time so sympathetic. [21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ R. S. Shapiro. (April 23, 1964). "UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ARRESTED AT FAIR: ONE HELD IN $2,000 BAIL ON ASSAULT CHARGE". Rutgers Daily TARGUM. 
  3. ^ "New Left Reviewed". Commentary Magazine. March 1964. 
  4. ^ Staughton Lynd, Andrej Grubačić, Denis (INT) O'Hearn (2008). Wobblies and Zapatistas. PM Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-60486-041-2. 
  5. ^ "Robert Kramer derniere route". Le Monde. November 13, 1999. 
  6. ^
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  8. ^
  9. ^ Scott MacDonald (1998). A critical cinema. University of California Press. pp. 200–201. ISBN 978-0-520-20943-5. 
  11. ^
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  14. ^ Gail Robinson (January 2007). "Reorganizing the Schools (Again)". Gotham Magazine. 
  15. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths FRUCHTER, RACHEL G.". The New York Times. July 15, 1997. 
  16. ^
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  19. ^ Linda Dittmar; Gene Michaud (1990). From Hanoi to Hollywood. Rutgers University Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-8135-1587-8. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "A Diary of Pains". Time Magazine. Mar 1, 1963. 

External links[edit]