I have recently begun with Inorganic Chemistry and am finding it totally difficult to understand things (I am trying to minimize memorization and approach logically).
One of the things I am having problems with is understanding oxidizing and reducing agents. Given a compound(and a few other necessary conditions in some cases), can I predict whether the compound will behave as a reducing or an oxidizing agent? Well obviously if there is any such rule, there will be exceptions. But is there anything as such to reason out a few statements and take me partly towards the answer?
For example I have begun with Group 1 and the book says at some point that peroxides and superoxides of alkali metals act as strong oxidizing agents, group 1 hydrides are powerful reducing agents etc. Well I find it difficult to understand these statements and my book offers no explanation.