Generally, I find that I am unable to read scientific papers. But, although I have no formal education in biology (except for a freshman class a few decades ago), I was able to read most of these papers. I find that very appropriate since the collection is a memorial to Stephen Jay Gould, who is well known for his extremely readable essays for non-scientists.
These papers were published by a scientific journal and are still much more technical than Gould's Natural History essays. I have found a phrase which I think shows the general technical level of these papers: "...the monophyly of the triploblasts, those bilaterians possessing true mesoderm." If you are comfortable with that, I think you will enjoy and learn from this collection.
At least that was my experience I did have to struggle with parts. For example, evolution at the level of species as opposed to individuals was difficult; a few examples would have helped a lot. (If it would help you to know more about my technical level, you can click on my name, above, or on "See all my reviews".)
Each paper expands on some aspect of Gould's writings, especially his technical writing. Fans of his essays will be familiar with contingency, exaptation, punctuated equilibrium, the neutral theory, and, probably, some other topics. But these papers go deeper. For, example, in reading the essays, I couldn't understand why there was controversy about punctuated equilibrium; the concept seemed too obvious. Not surprisingly, I now find that there was a lot more to the theory, enough for the controversy to make sense.
The term "macroevolution" refers to changes that are more rapid than those Darwin wrote about. Besides the topics I mentioned above, developmental genes, mass extinctions, and variations in the timing of development promote rapid evolution. Most of what I've read about macroevolution has been about animals; to give a little bit of balance, there is a paper here about plants.
To sum up: if you're a nonscientist and have read several elementary and somewhat advanced books about evolution and you want to go one step further, this may well be the book you want. I certainly enjoyed it and will read it again.
[Original review 8 April 2006. Revised for clarity 6 June 2006.]