Al Norman is an author and activist. 60 Minutes has called Norman “the guru of the anti-Walmart movement.”
For 25 years, Norman has worked with citizen’s groups to stop unwanted commercial developments. Norman’s first book, Slam Dunking Wal-Mart: How You Can Stop Superstore Sprawl (Raphel, 1999), has become an underground classic for neighborhood groups, and his second book, The Case Against Wal-Mart was released in June of 2004. Both books have been translated into Japanese. His third book, Occupy Walmart (Brigantine Media) was published in May of 2012. This book is a collection of essays published while he was a contributor to The Huffington Post.
Norman is the founder of Sprawl-Busters, an international clearinghouse on big box sprawl, who has guided hundreds of communities around the world fighting corporations like Wal-Mart.
In September of 2004, Forbes magazine called Norman “Wal-Mart’s #1 Enemy.” He first stopped a Wal-Mart in his hometown of Greenfield in 1993. Norman was featured in the PBS documentary Store Wars, about one Virginia town’s battle against Wal-Mart; in the 2003 ITVS film Talking to the Wall; served as a consultant for the movie High Cost of Low Price” in 2005; was featured in the Our Town movie in Damariscotta, Maine in 2006, and in the Canadian movie Wal-Mart Nation in 2007. In 2007 Al appeared on Penn & Teller’s show Bullshit.
Norman has traveled throughout America, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and Barbados at the request of citizen’s groups and small businesses.
Albert Norman’s work has been covered extensively by the media. In February, 2001, the London Sunday Times Magazine called Norman a “fire-breathing evangelist”. “He’s been invited to preach the anti-Wal-Mart gospel in dozens of towns,” said 60 Minutes. The Wall Street Journal has called Norman “a one-man anti-Wal-Mart cottage industry.” Norman’s work was featured in journalist Bob Ortega’s book In Sam We Trust; in Jim Hightower’s book Thieves in High Places; in the book How Superstore Sprawl is Harming Communities by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and in former Sierra Club President Adam Werbach’s book, Act Now, Apologize Later.
Al Norman has appeared on the Lehrer News Hour, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s Nightline, The Wall Street Journal Report, CNBC Steals & Deals, Marketplace, The Al Franken Show, Talk of the Nation, NPR’s Here & Now, NPR’s Morning Edition, The Osgood File, The Atlantic Magazine, and he has been written up in The Boston Globe, Time Magazine, and hundreds of small town daily newspapers. In 1994 he wrote Eight Ways to Stop the Store in The Nation magazine, which was reprinted in The Utne Reader.
A former journalist for Newsweek magazine, Norman has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and a Masters in Teaching from the University of Massachusetts
Norman lives in Western Massachusetts.