take (something) by the throat

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take (something) by the throat

To approach, confront, or deal with a problem or difficult situation directly and with clear, confident action. I took the situation by the throat and confronted my manager about the blatant sexism in the office. You've been complaining about being out of work for too long—it's time to take your job search by the throat.
See also: by, take, throat
References in classic literature ?
With a diabolical insight into the strongest part of his position, he is no sooner taken by the throat than he curls up his legs, forces his assailant to hang him, as it were, and gurgles in his throat, and screws his body, and twists, as already undergoing the first agonies of strangulation.
But then, this is a crazy, mixed-up and lawless division that needs to be taken by the throat with assertive pro-active policing.
I've been accosted in San Diego, followed and chased in New York City and taken by the throat in New Haven--but I've never had a gun pointed at me, as far as I know.