Fedora certainly doesn't require such a large root partition. This Fedora 13 system I'm using now is using 5.3 GB.
$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3 8.2G 5.3G 2.5G 68% /
tmpfs 249M 0 249M 0% /dev/shm
When you next install Fedora, try the partitioning option "Create custom layout". In the disk druid which appears next, you can create a root partition of any size you want.